Colombo, Identity, Politics and Governance, Religion and faith

Political Opposition in a Nihilistic Sinhala Society: Responses and clarifications

[Editors note: This response by Kusal is to the intense and interesting debate generated by Political Opposition in a Nihilistic Sinhala Society published on Groundviews recently.]

To all who read and commented and did not comment, “Thank you”.

Comments by and large, have the same mindset, though with trivial variations, except for ‘Heshan’. The gist of all other comments is that, questioning the impact of caste influenced “Heenayana” Buddhism on society, is “treacherous” and arguments are “garbage”. Questioning the negative aspect of this “Buddhism”, is blaming it, as Raghavan understands it. For others, its dumping on us an alien “Western” democracy and theory.

For all of them, again except Heshan, discussing Sinhala Buddhist politics is taboo. That has to be taken as “natural” and “justified” in this country and needs no discussion, they feel. Why can’t politics be discussed “without touching upon Sinhala Buddhist influence” or impact, is their angry question. What they don’t want to accept is that, as in Rwanda where “Hutu” racial extremism can not be avoided when discussing politics, as in Israel where “Judaism” can not be forgotten, as in Iran where Shi’ite Islamic hegemony can not be ignored, in Sri Lanka, even in modern politics Sinhala Buddhist politics with its caste influence can not be avoided, starting with Anagarika Dharmapala’s intervention at least, from the colonial period.

Instead they drag the discussion into their own fancied playgrounds and have failed to positively contribute in understanding the religious influence on this “socio political culture” that allows this society to fester and nauseate with murder, abductions, corruption, waste, poverty, racism and all things negative in governance that is anything but decent and civilised, even on “Dharmasokian ethics and values”.

The approach in dividing this world into a noble East and a vicious West and the attitude of those who wish to feel “pure” in their Heenayana Sinhala dressing, negates the fact that “knowledge and technology” in this world grew and evolved to what it is today and what it would be tomorrow, with different societies across the globe from East to West, contributing, acquiring and assimilating knowledge and technology, and developing them to new levels of knowledge and technology. Thus it would be apt to ask, to whom does “printing” technology belong to ? To Chinese wooden block makers who initially developed the technology of carving out Chinese characters or to Gutenberg in Germany who used that in developing interchangeable metal characters ?

So is “democracy” and modern political philosophy. Democracy that is identified as “Western” is a long process of capital formation, growth of nation States, exploitation of colonies and how they themselves could be governed. Grown and developed over centuries, through many debacles and struggles of mostly oppressed people. That also includes the break away of the “Lutheran” Clergy from the Roman Catholic church, in progressively interpreting the Bible. Such knowledge accumulation and technological advancements took off in the West, with the development of printing, that for the first time allowed knowledge and philosophical discourse to be shared socially.

All societies that does not understand such growth and advancement of “knowledge, science and technology” as borderless “human achievement” and close themselves up to outside influence and growth, had been failures. China’s fall during the ‘Ming dynasty’ is a classic example. The strength of the West lies in its culture that was ever an open process.

What is instead proposed by those who shy away from modern “democratic” concepts and governing structures as “Western” dumps on us, has nothing for us to lean on, as a solution. If not the globally accepted human and democratic rights, what choice ? If not the internationally accepted concepts of representative and participatory democracy, what choice ?

The choice is that of a tyranny, that I don’t concede to, or accept as a choice, under any socio political context. Therefore, this attempt at understanding why this Sinhala Buddhist society, does not allow a change for a better, for a decent and a modern society, with equality across religio- ethnic divisions. Therefore this attempt at understanding why this Sinhala Buddhist society, that is fundamentally a “Heenayana” (The term ‘Theravada’ was adopted later) thinking society, accepts violations of all decency to live a subdued, grumbling and a “nihilistic” life. Often a contradiction of its religious beliefs and its secular, personal cravings.

That can not come about after 1978, with the neo liberal “free economy” alone. That can not be the influence of JVP and JHU politics. That is also not what Rajapaksa created by himself through his “Mahinda Chinthanaya”. Its historical social thinking, all of them fell upon, to mobilise the society. But it is only the Sinhala Buddhist society that can be mobilised by calling for a “Unitary” State and a “motherland”. Why ? Because that call has to be qualified by Buddhist presence, which is not “Mahayana” but “Heenayana”.

No comment has provided any counter argument on that and to accept that Heenayana is positive and socialising, in its social impact. It is what I defined as and is precisely why, we don’t have a strong aesthetic culture. The 2,560 year history does not show any growth of aesthetics for a lay life. Not even a palace culture rich in music and dance, as in India. If Hindu and Moghul (Muslim) empires in both North and South India could provide space for their very rich and varied traditions of dance and music, art and sculpture, costumes and cuisines, why could not “Lanka”?  All dances, art, music and song that we talk of as Sri Lankan, are borrowed traditions. How will that be explained?

There is therefore a necessity to break off from this rusty ideological shackle of living in the past and being introvert in approaching life, in working towards a future. We got to leave this baggage and move forward. Change is often painful and disadvantageous for the coward and the opportunist.

  • Sri Lankan

    “[Edited out: Extreme prejudice against any religion is not tolerated on Groundviews. You have been warned once before for outright racist commentary against the Tamil community. In the comment below, you outrageously target all Sri Lankan Christians in a similar fashion. If you wish to continue with your hate speech, do so elsewhere – you are banned from this forum.]”

    Why is it that you publish articles that outrageously target all Sinhalese Buddhists like the ones by Kusal Perera? Does it ever occur to you to be FAIR?

    • Offending Buddhists is a necessary corollary of accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

      • wijayapala

        But not offending Tamils, even when it is “tough love?”

        • Clearly you’ve either not read, or more likely, not comprehended the content on this site since 2006.

      • wijayapala

        Dear Kusal,

        Thank you for the above “hissy fit” (not my words!). It would have been nice if you had responded to our individual comments instead of the usual soliloquy but beggars (me) cannot be choosers.

        No comment has provided any counter argument on that and to accept that Heenayana is positive and socialising, in its social impact.

        Well, you haven’t provided a counter argument to the statement that there is no such thing as “Heenayana” either in Sri Lanka or elsewhere!

      • Sri Lankan

        “Offending Buddhists is a necessary corollary of accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka”

        That is a pretty outrageous and unbelievable comment to make Sanjana. How exactly is “offending Buddhists” a “necessary corollary of accountablity and reconciliation in Sri Lanka?” Why is that, say, Christians cannot be offended but Buddhists can be on Groundviews? How is this in keeping with your own Groundviews guidelines? Kusal’s articles deliberately attack ALL Sinhalese Buddhists, so why do you publish them on your website and actually defend them? I’m sure you wouldn’t publish anything remotely like this that targets Sri Lankan Christians for example — infact you censor them. So why the double standards?

        • Try to understand, if you can, the difference between content and expression?

      • Sri Lankan

        I am trying to, but find it incongruous? You state very clearly “Extreme prejudice against any religion is not tolerated on Groundviews.”

        But your comment “Offending Buddhists is a necessary corollary of accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka” is extremely prejudiced against Buddhists/Buddhism itself.

        Kusal’s two articles are hateful attacks on a whole community of people and their faith.

    • indonicus

      I thnk ‘hissy fit’ was a term used by Dayan Jayatileke ( a master of hissy fits if ever there was one) and picked up by his dutiful follower Blacker. There are a few people throwing hissy fits in this forum but I don’t think Kusal is one of them.

  • I think anyone who begins an article by pointing to Heshan as an example of how discourse must be conducted really needs a few toku 😀

    Personally, I thought the earlier piece was extremely insensitive to practicing Buddhists as well as condescending to secular Buddhists. Since I am neither, I didn’t think I had much to add in the form of comment. This second part seems to just compound matters, removing the veil of even a pretense of objectivity and descending into a full-blown hissy fit.

    • Gowri Rajendran

      The first thing that ran through my mind when I finished reading this odious article was, OMG, the author is so unabashedly bigoted. 

      It is clear that Mr. Kusal Perera’s bitterness has robbed him of objective, intelligent discourse when it comes to Sinhala Buddhists and Buddhism in general.  

      Those who share Mr. Kusal Perera’s “mind-sent” launch similar attacks against Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus, depending on what brand of hatred they subscribe to.

      But then again, Mr. Kusal Perera wouldn’t give two hoots about Buddhist people or their culture given that the world has produced far superior religions, cultures and social structures according to him. 

      As for the majority of people in Sri-Lanka who are proud of their religion, culture and achievements, I am sure they are too busy celebrating.

    • Chamath Jayasinghe

      I agree with your comments, David Blacker. I think a quote
      from Kusal Perera’s blog itself will suffice here in response to
      Kusal Perera: “Keep smiling. Nothing can be done about the
      ignorance of those who do not know they are ignorant” This is why
      I’ve always considered the standard of media in Sri Lanka to be
      extremely poor; they publish poorly written and often blatantly
      bigoted and racist articles with no compunction.

    • indonicus

      “I think anyone who begins an article by pointing to Heshan as an example of how discourse must be conducted really needs a few toku”

      Pretty rich, coming from someone who spends most of his time on GV having long and ultimately meaningless arguments with Heshan!

  • Kusal Perera

    For those who feel angered,
    Feel sorry about these persons who can not understand the difference between “Buddhist ideology” and individual Buddhists. I have not written to say Sinhalese Buddhists as individuals or persons are even racists, though they have to take responsibility for all communal attacks against Tamil people both in 1958 and worst still, in 1983 July. My position is that as a socio religious ideology HEENAYANA BUDDHISM – not Buddhists – have been influencing and impacting in a negative manner and neo liberalism has added onto that.
    This is not about how good or bad the Buddhists are. Its about the socio religious impact on society. Pls don’t misinterpret my argument for lack of counter argument or logic in developing a discourse.
    Kusal Perera

    • yapa

      Mr. Kusal Perera;

      “Feel sorry about these persons who can not understand the difference between “Buddhist ideology” and individual Buddhists.”

      Please feel sorry about yourself, for writing things with an unhealthy mind.

      You are saying, you are not shooting the elephant but only its head. Those are only naive tactics, trying unsuccessfully to cover up your “things” as the proverbial dog tried to do in the past.

      A folk song comes into my mind at this moment.

      “Kusalhamy pahala ele malu banava”

      May Triple Gems Bless You!

    • Chamath Jayasinghe

      Dear Kusal, To escape the plunge into the abyss of
      meaninglessness, we grasp after flotsam, attempting to immerse
      ourselves in distractions. We pursue pleasure and power, seek to
      augment our wealth and status, surround ourselves with
      contraptions, invest our hopes in personal relationships that only
      conceal our own inner poverty. At the same time, however, that our
      absorption in distractions helps us to cope with the psychological
      void, it also stifles in us a deeper and still more insistent need
      — the longing for a peace and freedom that does not depend upon
      external contingencies. One of the great blessings of the Buddha’s
      teaching is the remedy it can offer for the problem of
      meaninglessness so widespread in human life today. The Dhamma can
      serve as a source of meaning primarily because it provides us with
      the two requisites of a meaningful life: an ultimate goal for which
      to live, and a clearcut but flexible set of instructions by which
      we can advance toward that goal from whatever station in life we
      start from. In the Buddha’s teaching the quest for ultimate meaning
      does not begin, as in the theistic religions, with propositions
      about a supernatural scheme of salvation to be assented to in
      faith. It begins, rather, by focusing upon an experiential problem
      right at the crux of human existence. The problem, of course, is
      the problem of suffering, the boundaries of which are shown to
      extend beyond our immediate subjection to pain, misery and sorrow,
      and to encompass all that is conditioned precisely because of its
      impermanence, its vulnerability, its lack of abiding
      substance.

  • yapa

    Mr. Kusal Perera;

    You say: “I have not written to say Sinhalese Buddhists as individuals or persons are even racists, though they have to take responsibility for all communal attacks against Tamil people both in 1958 and worst still, in 1983 July.”

    Do you also publicly say Tamils have to take responsibility for all communal attacks against Sinhala and Muslim people from 1958 to 2009, killing thousands barbarically.

    YOU say:”My position is that as a socio religious ideology HEENAYANA BUDDHISM – not Buddhists – have been influencing and impacting in a negative manner and neo liberalism has added onto that.

    This is not about how good or bad the Buddhists are. Its about the socio religious impact on society. Pls don’t misinterpret my argument for lack of counter argument or logic in developing a discourse.”

    Can you please explain What this “social order” you are talking of that Buddhism is influencing and impacting in a negative manner? Is it the “universal and the only social order” that should be followed? Why do you say influencing and impacting in a negative manner that so called social order is bad or wrong? Is that the only social order that should be upheld? Is there no any other alternative social order that has any value? How do you say that the social order you are admiring is better than the social order indicated by the Buddhist philosophy? What are the parameters you are using to measure and compare them? How do you distinguish something good from another? How do you distinguish Your right social order from wrong ones? What is your opinion about utilitarianism? What is your idea about materialism? What is your idea about empiricism? What do you have to say about existentialism? Tell me what ideology you think explains the reality?

    Please back up your claims. We need to discuss the matter in depth, in a subtle plane. Come on Mr. Kusal Perera, answer my questions if your brave heart is not shaking. Catch me if possible, I challenge you and promise to show that you are not a person who can see beyond your nose’s length.

    Thanks!

    • Kusal Perera

      To Mr. Yapa and others,
      Thank you Mr. Yapa for your heroic comment.
      But, how far does eccentricism run boisterous and wild ?
      When I write about “society”, the response comes in terms of “social order”. When I write about our own society from the feudal past, the response is on “universal and the only social order” and wants to know if there is “no any other alternative order that has value”. Then there is a string of “isms” – utilitarianism, materialism, empiricism, existentialism – for me to write my views about. Guess the writer knows enough about “Marxism, Leninism, Trotskyism, Stalinism, Maoism, Capitalism, Imperialism, Atheism, Agnosticism and “how they explain reality”. Or else, would have included them as well, for me.
      Ain’t all this way, way outside, what I wanted to discuss ?
      Can I drill some sanity into these wayward rattle, to have some discipline in the discussion ?
      I am talking very plainly about the collective of people – communities, castes and sub castes – called “society” in the island called Lanka, Ceylon and now Sri Lanka and not anywhere else, in which a large majority practice a variation of Buddhism called Heenayana (later called Theravada for want of a more dignified appearance) for many centuries and how that, as a social practice has created a social mindset amongst the larger majority, commonly called the Sinhala society.
      IF that can be understood without any confusion, then the next. This Sinhala (Heenayana, for there was at different times another variant, the Mahayana and to a much lesser extent Vajrayana) Buddhist mindset over the years has fashioned social aspirations and how they are satisfied, as a society. It is this “fashioning” or shaping effect that is understood as “influence and impact” and that is what is discussed, along with the added effect of a “free market”, if “neo liberalism” is also confusing. Its NOT, as these eccentric comments claim, what my “ideal society” is, or what I hate, that is being discussed.
      Up to the tip of my nose, thus far I could see, according to this Mr. Yapa, that is all the issue as I see and beyond that what I perceive is, anger and frustration, with an abundance of words one can pick free of charge in English and post free of charge on GV.

      Kusal Perera

      • yapa

        Mr. Kusal Perera;

        “When I write about our own society from the feudal past, the response is on “universal and the only social order” and wants to know if there is “no any other alternative order that has value”. Then there is a string of “isms” – utilitarianism, materialism, empiricism, existentialism – for me to write my views about. Guess the writer knows enough about “Marxism, Leninism, Trotskyism, Stalinism, Maoism, Capitalism, Imperialism, Atheism, Agnosticism and “how they explain reality”. Or else, would have included them as well, for me.
        Ain’t all this way, way outside, what I wanted to discuss ?
        Can I drill some sanity into these wayward rattle, to have some discipline in the discussion ?”

        We are well aware that you are one of the [Edited out] outdated Marxists who have no theoretical ground to rest your feet. We are well aware that most of them had to go begging for their survival after there disappointment when the Soviet bloc was broken down. Most of became traitors to their “political parents” and became the underworld elements of the extreme right. Most of their red blood became green, and Marxist lions became bone licking dogs who bark at their own comrades, most of the time biting their hind legs.This is an irony of fate. This is what happened to half learned Marxists who though they knew a lot to teach to the world, because of their big muscles of their limbs not of their brains. These outdated elements disappointed to the core, with that unhealthy mentality try to revenge from society satisfy their psychosis. They are ardent democrats and liberals now!

        I think this explains this stink ugly bubble which burst in this forum. Hold tight your noses for some time or spray some perfumery liquid where you are staying. [Edited out.]

        Mr. Kusal Perera, I think you would response to our queries.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        In addition, we know that for moth eaten Marxists religion is opium! They don’t see any positive contribution of them to society. Dark minds see only the dark sides of everything.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear All;

        This must be the Utopian model Kusal Perea wants to plant here at the expense of (Heenayana) Buddhism. Please see how it is possible by the patronage of international friends.

        http://www.dailynews.lk/2011/01/13/wld62.asp

        Wild ideologies released without checks and balances have brought destructions and misery to the world. Nietzsche’s ideology to was to produce “Supermen” to the world. According to him “war is a biological necessity”. For him weak men with gentle virtues are an obstacle to develop the so called strong humans and war is essential to destroys such weak and unnecessary nit wits from the world, leaving the world for a generation of supermen, that was his interpretation of ” struggle for Existence” by Charles Darwin. This was what Leo Heinrich von Treitschke said about war. “God will see to it that war always recurs as a drastic medicine for the human race”. Such wild ideologies injected into societies without checks and balances paved way to the destruction of established social institutions without assessing value or the validity of them and destroyed millions of human lives in cruel wars and struggles. The real culprit of those destructions were “cynical ideologies” put forward by insane learned people of the world.

        Therefore, before putting forward new ideologies or theories which could affect prevailing social institutions, any sensible man should re-test and re-asses their “brainchildren” in their minds, in their hearts.

        Irresponsibility, insanity and writing for minor gains may bring destruction and misery. Grey hair and disordered beards alone won’t make people sensible, responsible and loving at heart. Age makes the hump of a bull bigger, but it cannot make its brains grow!

        Thanks!

  • Suren Raghavan

    @ Kusal (I only know you in distance, I think I remember interviewing you on SLRC after your book ‘The Cry of a Magpie’)

    I am not sure of you, but I only write in my spare time as writing for GV is not part of my job nor it brings any benefits to what I currently do. My aim is to contribute to a path of reconciliation and democratic recovery. Since you had mentioned me in your reply, let me be frank,

    I think your writings and the broad-brush (even rather arrogant- dismissive) approach you have willingly adopted in both pieces leads to indicate that you want to be some kind of martyr for democracy in Sri Lanka. While I respect your normative sense of attachment to SL and her democratic recovery, I think this messiah syndrome is not useful and even counter productive in the empirical sense. I am sad you have not read carefully my comments and have categorically positioned all in one

    ‘’Comments by and large, have the same mindset, though with trivial variations, except for ‘Heshan’. The gist of all other comments is that, questioning the impact of caste influenced “Heenayana” Buddhism on society, is “treacherous” and arguments are “garbage”. Questioning the negative aspect of this “Buddhism”, is blaming it, as Raghavan understands it. For others, its dumping on us an alien “Western” democracy and theory.
    For all of them, again except Heshan, discussing Sinhala Buddhist politics is taboo…”

    I have not indicated in any way that discussing Buddhism is a taboo. If so I would have not spent long three years researching on Theravada Buddhism and politics in SL. I am sad if you only read the text in a way that incrse your ‘agent provocateur’ profile.

    Let me say why your writing (not a critique) on ‘Heenayana’ Buddhism practiced in SL, as a political ideology is not achieving any positive end. (At least the way I see it)

    1. You are writing on a highly sensitive subject that needs respect, research and reflections even if you totally disagree with them. In your writing, I see neither an academic nor an analytical approach, except a personal observation. You will agree in Social Science, observations are only intuitions until they are verified by analysis. Here your intuition is a dependent variable wherelse the fact of Buddhism in SL is an independent variable. I was sad and surprised you ventured into such deep and fragile area without any reference to the already established pedagogical literate on Theravaada Buddhism in SL. Your choice of term ‘Heenayana’ indicates both you are adopting a semantic motive or have not updated your reading on the contemporary Buddhism and Politics discourse in SL and elsewhere. The shame is that you have not based even your rather jouranalistic approach on any one of the know schools of debates, may they be History, Theology, Social Science, Politics or even Conflict Studies. An august collection of SL scholars ( From P Malalasekara, G Mendis, K. M De Silva, RAHL Gunawardane, G Obeysekara, SJ Tambiah, HL Senevirathene, Ananda Abeysekara, Ven Deegalle Mahinda, Ven Sirimalwatte Chandawimala, Prakrama Silva, Niranjan W de Silva, Anuradha Seneviratne) have done their contributions to address the correlation between Societal Buddhism and Political Psychology in SL. I don’t want to add the western scholars who have very recently done their PhD searches, some including the manner how SLA soldiers managed to balance their Buddhist faith and life while enagaged in a murderous war. You have either not aware of any of them or rejecting them totally. Both are extremely dangerous positions. Without adopting such established authenticities to address Buddhism in SL only promising to promote the type of hysteria, that is governing Wimal Weerawange and Champika Ranawka. So what you have done by your rather casual approach to this topic is to legitimize the ontological insecurities that is embedded in popular SL Buddhist mind and given more opportunities to the illeberalism that is promoted under the perennial ‘Jathiya-Aagama’ discourse. That is why I say you are ‘Blaming Buddhism’ not critiquing and analyzing

    2. There was an era that was famously negating the validity of Religious and Ethnic nationalism in nation building (or nation protecting) discourses. Sadly, this era, which started in the West with Weber’s analysis of the eastern societies, had finished and the post-Weberian sociology thankfully has moved on. Those champions who rejected nationalism, ethnicity and religion as antithetical to democracy [ including Fukuyama and Huntington]in thier recent writings have repented and recognized the value of these dynamic in each given society. If you are familiar with any new work of Anthony Smith, Yale Tamer, Wayne Norman and Will Kymlicka you will appreciate this transition. These are not some cave living Sangha or street fighting Weerawangsas. However, western scholars who admit that the Western sociology miscalculated and even hegemonically colonial in dismissing the social realities. Of course, this took decades, 9/11 and bloody wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere to prove.

    3. Lastly from a reconciliation point, ( since I believe you still work for an organization that work for reconciliation), Lets imagine hypothetical you are absolutely and academically profound and right in your analysis to proof that Heenayana Buddhist Ideology is the core incompatibility for democracy in SL. Then what would you propose: demand that SL give up Buddhism? Alternatively, try converting the 69% of Buddhist to either secularism or another faith? You know the history of this land more than I do. You know the results of such approach. As such your contribution is indirectly will only enhance and reproduce another Angarika, an Anagarika who will know the democratic discourse by heart and by training but will defend Sinhala Buddhism in a more aggressive and even primordial manner

    4. I agree with you that the way the institutionalized Buddhism has influenced the political structure and psychology need to be addressed. The role of Sangha in politicizing the Theravadian theology needs to be discussed. An intra-Buddhist discourse [like that happened in postwar Korea] is urgent in SL. However, it will not start with the kind of approach and attitude you have adopted here.

    5. If you desire pl. link yourself to the world-wide discussion and debate that takes place on Contemporary Theravada Buddhist Politics , like the one that concluded few weeks ago in Bangkok – Thailand

    6. I assume you will have the energy and time to re-engage. But I confess I don’t have the luxury of so much of free time. so this is my last line on this topic here

    7. However, do please continue your social activism in a more positive and reconciliative direction.

  • Heshan

    Indeed, unlike the more *esteemed* scholars such as Mr.Blacker, I have never vouched for the sainthood of Gothabaya and his ilk, so in that regard, I am no doubt worthy of “toku.”

    On another note, Kusal is asking a very simple question (a question which every society asks): is the society progressing or digressing? Is it moving forward or stuck in a time warp? In answering these questions, he has focused on the majority community, because it is their values and belief-systems that set the trend. More importantly, though, these values are much older than Western notions of democracy or capitalism. So some kind of conflict with modern values is probably inevitable. For example, the Sangha has always played an important role in politics. But this involvement is entirely contradictory to the modern-day spirit of secularism. Another one would be the lack of a broad-based leadership. Every President thus far has been a nationalist of Buddhist extraction. This is very much emblematic of a feudal mindset. People are venerating a politician (and to some extent, political party) the way they venerate their elders, parents, and religious leaders, when the only real issue should be accountability. Dissent becomes taboo. These are the kinds of issues that Kusal has touched upon. They are “open questions”, for which lack of open discussion hinders forward progress. Kusal has begun an important debate that will not diminish, but only grow in stature for a while to come.

  • The Mervyn Silva

    This is totally outrageous and extremely offensive also, to good Buddhists like myself, what the Kusal is saying. I am so outraged and offended I am sepdning the whole of the last night in the bed sleeping completely. I think the Groundviewers shuld be asked to be taking seriously the fact that the Buddhism is having the foremost and topmost place in the Sri Lanka and be acknowledging that every time they are writing here. I am also suggesting to the Sanjana that he be inserting ino the submission guidelines a new guideline also: starting the posting with homage to the Triple Gems. If not you are going to be in the big trouble. You are going away for long holiday to be learning about the Buddhism.

    I am also totally and completely disagreeing with what the Kusal is saying about the Sri Lanka having the Heenayana Buddhism. Heenayana meaning small vehicle. Look around in the coutnryside the Kusal! How many small vehicles you are seeing? The only small vehicles you are seeing are the ones with the three wheels and not the four wheels. Even my vehicle is not so small. The Buddhist pries especialy is not using the smal vehicle. Always going for big and bigger. We are small people with the small mind but with big vehicle syndrome like most people.

    May the Triple Gems be blessing you (But I am also calling on the Allah and the Jesus and the few million Gods in the Hindu side, just in case. These days you are not knowing who is in charge).

  • yapa

    Mr. Kusal Perera; Please don’t look at the wordings I used,
    that will not be perfect as I am not very good in my English, but
    look at the contents of my writing. The crux of your writing and
    the part I was referring is that your notion that “Heenayana
    Buddhism is influencing and impacting a negative effect on Sri
    Lankan society”, isn’t it? OK, then prove your point in the broader
    and deeper context I have mentioned in my last post. I think you
    would not try to run away hiding behind loose words. Prove that you
    are not suffering from “short sightedness”. Earnestly awaiting your
    response. Thanks!

  • Chamath Jayasinghe

    Buddhist tolerance springs from the recognition that the
    dispositions and spiritual needs of human beings are too vastly
    diverse to be encompassed by any single teaching, and thus that
    these needs will naturally find expression in a wide variety of
    religious forms. The non-Buddhist systems will not be able to lead
    their adherents to the final goal of the Buddha’s Dhamma, but that
    they never proposed to do in the first place. For Buddhism,
    acceptance of the idea of the beginningless round of rebirths
    implies that it would be utterly unrealistic to expect more than a
    small number of people to be drawn toward a spiritual path aimed at
    complete liberation. The overwhelming majority, even of those who
    seek deliverance from earthly woes, will aim at securing a
    favorable mode of existence within the round, even while
    misconceiving this to be the ultimate goal of the religious quest.
    To the extent that a religion proposes sound ethical principles and
    can promote to some degree the development of wholesome qualities
    such as love, generosity, detachment and compassion, it will merit
    in this respect the approbation of Buddhists. These principles
    advocated by outside religious systems will also conduce to rebirth
    in the realms of bliss — the heavens and the divine abodes.
    Buddhism by no means claims to have unique access to these realms,
    but holds that the paths that lead to them have been articulated,
    with varying degrees of clarity, in many of the great spiritual
    traditions of humanity. While the Buddhist will disagree with the
    belief structures of other religions to the extent that they
    deviate from the Buddha’s Dhamma, he will respect them to the
    extent that they enjoin virtues and standards of conduct that
    promote spiritual development and the harmonious integration of
    human beings with each other and with the world.

  • TT

    As a non-Buddhist and a non-Sinhalese I find this
    particular piece by Kusal offensive to Buddhists. No religion
    stands only on it’s teachings. All religions have something large
    surrounding them. They are all part of it and must be respected by
    all. If the same was written about Tamil Catholics and Tamil Hindus
    of Sri Lanka, I don’t think groundviews would publish it. The
    danger is readers will now associate Mr Kusal Perera with his very
    strong views whenever he comes up with sensible analyses. At the
    end of the day, you believe what you want to believe. If certain
    forms of reconciliation are so alien to a group of Sri Lankans,
    have no real benefits for them and if they have to go through
    various unpleasent things explaining why they disagree for
    particular reconciliation models, then it is best to drop those
    reconciliation models. They will not work. We must accept this
    fact. Both parties to reconciliation must give and take. Of course
    each party must gain something tangible. If Tamils have nothing
    valuable to give the Sinhalese, then there will be no compromise.
    Even if there is a compromise on paper, there is no cost to the
    Sinhalese in dishonouring it. They gain nothing in honouring it and
    lose nothing in dishonouring it. We have to understand this.
    Bashing the Sinhalese for not agreeing to a lousy bargain will not
    take us anywhere. e.g. 1921, 1947, 1957, 1965, 1987, 2002 (CFA),
    2005 (PTOMS) Allowing large Sinhalese agricultural and fisheries
    settlements and businesses in the north is a lucrative one. They
    cannot go back on that without substantial loss.

    • The Mervyn Silva

      Non Sinhalese and a non- Buddhist also! But are you also Blacker than the David? (Winking winking, nudging nudging)

    • Amarnath Sunderagama

      TO ALL Sinhala Buddhists with me,

      What is the politics behind winning war ? Sinhala Buddhism
      What is strength of President MR ? Sinhala Buddhism
      What is helping all anti democratic steps of government ? Sinhala Buddhism
      What is helping to rule with impunity ? Sinhala Buddhism

      All in all, what keeps this regime in power, without any answer to any of the problems we people are still complaining about ? Sinhala Buddhism

      This I understand as Kusal Perera’s argument. Cant’ dispute.

      Amarnath

  • Heshan

    TT,

    100,000 people have already died in the name of Sinhala-Buddhism. Do you think the Buddha would have given the okay to that? Did a single monk ever express his opposition to the war in a public venue or in a newspaper? Was there ever an honest debate among the larger masses of Sinhala-Buddhists about the downside of the war? Now, I am not saying that other religions have not been used to carry out atrocious crimes. What I am saying is that there is nothing special about Sinhala-Buddhism. Like practically all other religions, it must find a way to evolve and embrace more modern trends. There is no point trying to cover-up the atrocities committed in the name of Sinhala-Buddhism. We are in the Digital Age – 2500 yrs from now, individuals will still ponder whether Gothabaya Rajapakse gave orders to shoot surrendering LTTE. You cannot hide these things, just like the Catholic Church cannot hide its witch burnings and abusive priests. That is why Kusal’s debate is legitimate; it is not an attempt to merely point blame, but to encourage debate so that whatever conflict of interest is trying to keep things under the carpet, comes into the open and is dealt with accordingly.

  • TT

    Heshan,

    There is absolutely nothing special about Buddhism. It is just another religion. However, aligning the blame with Buddhism or the Buddhist culture and other associated beliefs is wrong. Tamil Elamists (including the LTTE) were equally or more violent than the armed forces. This is the reality.
    Unlike USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia, etc., Sri Lanka didn’t go to war to defend a religious belief. JVP Sinhala Buddhists created trouble and they got the same. Muslims to their credit were by far the most peaceful and the socalled Buddhists didn’t wage war on them. Your assumption that 100,000 people died in the name of Sinhala-Buddhism is absurd. They died (in vain) in the name of Tamil Elam!

    Frankly, Tamil racism in north east Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu is much worse than Sinhala racism. Let me prove it. In TN and TE (if I may use that term) there are over 40 race based (racist) political parties. Their party names have race names. e.g. Tamil or Dravidian Nowhere else in the world you get so much racism in politics. Look at Sinhala people’s parties. Apart from a few powerless joker parties, there aren’t any. Even the Buddhist monks’ party has no Sinhala in it. Then look at Tamil grievances. Others too have heaps of grievences but they don’t make them racial affairs. Tamil aspirations is another nonsense. Don’t the Sinhala, Muslim, Malay, Vedda, Chetti people have aspirations? They do but they don’t make them a racial thing. Tamil homelands is another highly racist thing. Worse, it’s name is also racist! Don’t the Sinhalese, Muslims, etc. have homelands? They do but they don’t make it racially demarcated. They are happy for it to be Sri Lanka.
    Sri Lankans (including Tamils) fought Tamils for over 2,200 years. I don’t believe all those kings who defeated Tamils in the past were Buddhists. There were many Tamil kings, Kerala kings, Kalinga kings from Sri Lanka who violently fought Tamils in wars. As now even those wars were between multicultural Sri Lanka and Tamil only Cholas or Pandyans.

    • Krish

      Dear TT

      We had argued this earlier in other threads and you are raising it again. You start your arguments as a centrist and finally conclude that Tamils are racists. Your anti-Tamil feelings need no introduction in this board.

      Frankly, Tamil racism in north east Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu is much worse than Sinhala racism.
      According to you, SL has multiple bunch of racists. For example, Tamil racists, Sinhala racists and probably Muslim, Burgher, Moor racists. That is the stupidest thing I have seen on this board.

      In TN and TE (if I may use that term) there are over 40 race based (racist) political parties.
      I don’t know about SL, but can you please name any party that is racist in Tamil Nadu and how exactly are their policies racist. And please elaborate in what sort of racist policies did they implement during power or what kind of rampage/killing did they involve in quest for their racism. And please don’t tell us that the names of parties have Tamil or Dravidian in them. Substantiate your racism argument based on what those parties did or what their manifesto stands for. Your turn….

    • Krish

      Yapa,

      If I may intervene and say a few things to your post (which is a response to Heshan). I am particularly interested in the Indian aspects of it.

      I don’t assume Sinhalese were in the island before Tamils. I assume they both lived together as long as we know. They lived together, not seperately.
      Your premise is exactly essential for reconciliation. This is my personal take. The Srilankans (Sinhala or Tamil) who lived 200 years ago or earlier were probably more intelligent and understanding with one another than those of our times. Or even historically for that matter. But the events of the last 2 centuries leading up to LTTE and it’s demise, have made the environment very very polarized. But, SL would come out of it slowly. People would reconcile and move on.

      If it has been resolved why all the talk about Dravidistan? Recently the TN CM said his signature resembles Dravidistan! Why?
      Politics brother politics. Karunanidhi’s party is a coalition partner in the Indian Govt. They cannot find a more tolerant country than India to rob the people day in and out. The recent 2G network scam involving A Raja is the biggest scandal in Indian history. Everytime TN CM and his party are in a bad spot, he will talk about Tamil. Recently, he didn’t meet Manmohan Singh in Madras (a breach of protocol by a coalition partner). His explanation for his inability was he attending a conference in Tamil. And he said, “I am Tamil writer first, then comes my CM-ship”. Every time his rating points go low, Karunanidhi will act like a custodian of Tamil language and Tamil people. In reality, he is interested in robbing more money and staying in power. No more and no less.

      Why Seeman, Vaiko, Nedumaran, etc, are regularly go to prison for talking about TN people?
      While Seeman, Vaiko and Nedumaran are all pro-LTTE, they don’t have any political backing in TN (except to some extent Vaiko). Your understanding of TN is totally wrong.

      Why TN people have refused to integrate with the majority Hindi speaking Indians?
      How do you define integrate Yapa? Speaking Hindi? Dancing like North Indians? Tamilians in India are very well integrated and are a part of India. In fact, Tamilians are a part of virtually every single field in India. They are particularly a vibrant community in India’s science/technology, economy, business, arts, culture. Nehru even mentioned that Madras is the cultural capital of India. By the way, even you talked about Srinivasa Ramanujam not too long ago, who is a Tamilian himself. I don’t necessarily consider speaking Hindi as a pre-requisite to be an Indian. We are not here to establish a mono-lingual socieity. If Tamil people willingly learn, great! If not, nothing is lost. 🙂

      Going back to your point, if speaking Hindi fluently makes them integrated, then they are not. But from being a predominantly anti-Hindi state in the 60s (partially because of Dravidar Kazhagam, Justice Party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam etc.), TamilNadu in general and Tamilians in particular are more at home in India than a separate Tamil land.

      Why a large number of TN people support the creation of a Tamil nation elsewhere because they cannot do so in India due to massive Indian army?
      I am not sure how large in numerical terms, but such people in Tamil Nadu don’t enjoy any support anymore. Yes, there used to be great sympathy for SL Tamil cause, but after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, it has totally changed. Not sure about Indian army, but Indian Tamils by and large believe being a part of India is the best bet. 🙂

  • To say that he is only attacking the religion and not the believers (as Kusal claims), is itself significant. Within a political context, to target an ideology, is to define it. It is to correlate it to systems such as Nazism or the LTTE, where it is unnecessary to then target the followers of such a system, since there can be no leeway once the system is sufficiently demonized. In contrast, systems such as communism, Tamil Nationalism, Islam, and its sub-system Wahhabism, are not targeted in this manner by anyone but the most right-wing of critics. Instead, the interpretation and practice of such systems are critiqued, thereby allowing practitioners to redeem or condemn themselves by their own behaviour rather than by dint of belonging to said system. While Kusal (or anyone else for that matter) is free to shred any religion he wants to, I fail to understand how running such a blanket attack on SL Buddhists on this blog will help ethnic reconciliation. To attack Sinhalese Buddhism in the context of SL’s ethnic conflict is akin to attacking Tamil Nationalism; ie all who subscribe to either ideology are guilty.

    Another significant point is that the only person defending Kusal here (other than Sanjana) is Heshan, who has consistently proven (via his comments) that he approves all attacks on faiths that are not Judeo-Christian. He himself has called Islam fascist, and has approved of Christian colonisation of Asia and Africa. In this very thread he opines that “100,000 people have died in the name of Sinhala-Buddhism,” which is like saying 44 million people died in the name of the Versailles Treaty. As Rajivmw said, Heshan’s is an ignorant missionary school mentality, a sort of global redneck. Kusal seems quite perverse about who his detractors are; hopefully he feels the same about those that are defending him.

    Sri Lankan – the difference between “content” and “expression” is that the former is what the blog has to say and the latter is what you have to say. Since both content and expression appear on this blog at the pleasure of the blog owner, in the case of expression opposing content, it is unlikely that the former will be allowed to oppose the latter beyond the set narrative; as was made clear by the closing of expression in Kusal Perera’s earlier content, and the banning of Longus in his attempt to express his opposition to the fresh manure content.

    Indonicus – whether a discussion descends into the meaningless or not is often dependent on the claims made in the process of that discussion. I have had discussions/debates with many people on this blog and others, some meaningful — Belle, Rationalman, etc — some not — Heshan, Santa, Dushy, etc — and I think it’s claims such as “the LTTE never used children in combat” or “the 2001 election you speak of did not take place” or “the US only financed the atom bomb, it was created by foreign scientists” or “North Korea is not a member of the UN” or “the GoSL didn’t bomb the JVP because they were Sinhalese” that take such discussions into the meaningless. The alternative, Indonicus, is to allow such voices and claims to be the definitive ones on SL events that are under discussion here and elsewhere online. I think it is the responsibility of all moderates to ensure that the debate isn’t radicalized by prejudice or ignorance, because polarisation of opinion only strengthens the two extremist ends of the spectrum. So even though the playing field is not level, and in fact tilted in favour of those who fit the narrative of this blog, that is the price of engagement.

  • Heshan

    TT,

    The blunt reality is that before the Europeans arrived, the whole island was never united. The Sinhalese and Tamils lived as two distinct ethnic groups. So, it is ironic that while certain people here have a never-ending obsession with colonial bashing, it was in fact colonialism that paved the way for Sinhala-Buddhist hegemony of the entire island, via a brutal civil war, of course (again, a civil war that relied wholly on Western technology and Western battle strategy/planning). Furthermore, the whole notion of “territorial integrity” is a Western one. In the days of the King, the goal was either to defend the kingdom from outside threats, else to conquer new territory and annex it to the old kingdom. This latter feudal notion of territory is closer to how the majority of Sinhalese still think. For them, there is a “homeland” compromising the entire island, as per Mahavamsa. The territory in the North and East never belonged to the Tamils, they simply conquered it, pushing the Sinhalese further South. The idea of borders being porous and changing hands naturally over time vis a vis natural historical dynamics, is alien to the Sinhalese psyche. That is why its okay to talk about a Sinhalese homeland but not a Tamil homeland. Now, before you consider my line of reasoning to be absurd, ask yourself why a political solution based on devolution, has never been found to the Tamil Question? It has been proposed by a few politicians here and there, but we need not be reminded of the massive civil agitation that would easily dissuade such proposals from ever reaching Parliament. Such a solution is by no means difficult . The world did not end when India broke into India and Pakistan, or Malaysia into Malaysia and Singapore, or when Kosovo was recognized as an independent entity. A federal solution, in the Sri Lankan case, is a piece of cake. The only difficulty is that federalism implies more porous borders. The Sinhalese psyche is still envisioning a King owning all the land and asserting control via hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Equity, is again, a modern concept. Dutugemunu was no doubt a gracious victor, but the conquered Tamils surely paid tribute. Else, the prestige of the King suffer! This is what we are seeing today: Buddha statues and Buddhist temples all over the North and East, high security zones built over thousands of acres of prime farmland, and of course, the Army of the King, given a free hand to molest the conquered, if the present situation in Jaffna is any indication. When the President said there are only those who love the Motherland, surely he was referring to the conquerors and their kith and kin, and not the conquered. To be fair, equity is not a 1-shot process. As Kusal has pointed out, other cultures and civilizations have struggled with this for hundreds of years, before reaching an amicable process. What is clear, though, is that no resolution can be found that relies wholly on mythological thinking. Only a modern solution will suffice. History is the best example. No civilization is in the experimental stages anymore. In this regard, as Kusal has pointed out, there is a lot that we can learn from the West (as well as democratic East Asian nations, such as Singapore and Japan). Lastly, given the nature of today’s technology and the accessibility of instant communication, the march forward should be put on an accelerated footing, else it is a misuse of resources.

  • TT

    Heshan,

    What you say is contradictory. Singapore which is a very apt model for Sri Lanka has no devolution! Japan is not a good example of devolution either. You cannot match one piece from west and another one from the east. It comes in a package.

    In the past Sinhalese and Tamils didn’t live seperately. If there were seperate nations (I’m not talking about a few decades or a century but milinnia) they should have clashed constantly. But nothing of the sort happened. It was Tamils and others from across the seas who had clashes with Sri Lanka. The way wars were fought then, a seperate Tamil nation within the island would not have stood a chance.

    I agree that we need a modern solution. Modern solutions are based on ethnic integration throughout the country. No racial homelands. Anyway you have not denied (with facts) that Tamil racism is much worse than SInhala racism. I have proved it beyond challenge.

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    “There is absolutely nothing special about Buddhism. It is just another religion.”

    You are forgetting everything happened in the past for your advantage. Really you know that what you are saying above is not so. The religions based on the teaching originated from omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent creator god and his agents become zero credible as that God’s existence can be disproved. You really know this fact and you are pretending that you don’t remember and inviting us for a novel reminder. In the debates with you in this forums in the past I showed you how Averroes argument and Epicurus’s argument clearly disproved the existence of such a God. In one of the forums I challenged you to disprove any discourses of Buddhism, and you undertook my challenge and brought the argument that “Avyakata’s shown by the Buddha were incorrect. However, can’t you remember that with my counter arguments You had no answers and you stayed away from the forum for a couple of months? Can you remember people like Krish were showing that you were trying to shift the topic as you had no answers, before you left the forum to avoid the bitter situation?

    How anybody say disproved things have no difference with a thing any component of which cannot be disproved, and many of them even can be proved in terms of modern epistemological concepts? No philosophy was ever able to contradict Buddhism. Are you saying contradictions and non contradictions have no differences?

    This is not any subjective or personal opinion against any religion or my intention is not to insult any other religion just because I am a Buddhist. This is an outcome of an classical philosophical analysis. Anybody can check these facts. Just to please people, I don’t think anybody should advocate incorrect things. Saying every religion is same may be a very popular and all pleasing idea. But why should we deceive ourselves? Why don’t you analyse yourself and see. Analyse and compare them objectively without prejudices, without pre-assumptions and look at the results, see whether what Heshan is telling over and over again with his short memory of disadvantageous facts to him are correct.

    Why Heshan, please try to be intellectually honest.

    That would do a lot of good to you.

    Thanks!

    • wijayapala

      Dear yapa

      “There is absolutely nothing special about Buddhism. It is just another religion.”

      TT said this, not Prof Heshan. Buddhism is extremely special for Heshan because he hates and fears it.

  • indonicus

    I am yet to see anybody here responding rationally to any of the main point made by Kusal, which is that the Heenaya mindset impedes progress. What I find is that most people are throwing up their litle ‘hissy fits’, avoiding the issue. Take this gem for insance from Blacker:

    “It is to correlate it to systems such as Nazism or the LTTE, where it is unnecessary to then target the followers of such a system, since there can be no leeway once the system is sufficiently demonized. In contrast, systems such as communism, Tamil Nationalism, Islam, and its sub-system Wahhabism, are not targeted in this manner by anyone but the most right-wing of critics. Instead, the interpretation and practice of such systems are critiqued, thereby allowing practitioners to redeem or condemn themselves by their own behaviour rather than by dint of belonging to said system. While Kusal (or anyone else for that matter) is free to shred any religion he wants to, I fail to understand how running such a blanket attack on SL Buddhists on this blog will help ethnic reconciliation. To attack Sinhalese Buddhism in the context of SL’s ethnic conflict is akin to attacking Tamil Nationalism; ie all who subscribe to either ideology are guilty.”

    The gist of this long winded pussy-footing around the issue is that Kusal is attacking Buddhism and that it is not helping ethnic reconciliation. It criticises what is considerd to be Kusal’s technique rather than his arguments and cleverly hides the shallowness of the exercise by its verbosity. It is sufficiently verbose to make the exercise appear like ‘deep’ thinking to those who are easily impressed by such verbal tricks and has the poetntial to draw the reader into a discussion which is not quite rlevant to the content of the article in question. Only Dayan Jayatilleke could have done it better – or as well. LOL

    The central point raised by Kusal is that the Sinhalese Buddhists are weighed down by a “Heenayana mentality” and that it is retarding progress in numerous areas including political thinking and the Arts. Anybdy wants to engage with that?

    • yapa

      Yes! of course. That is why I was asking him to back his opinion with facts and arguments.

      Just opinions have no worth to be discussed. Let him back his insane opinion.

      Thanks!

    • “It criticises what is considerd to be Kusal’s technique rather than his arguments and cleverly hides the shallowness of the exercise by its verbosity”

      Actually, Indonicus, that isn’t what I am saying 😀 It appears that your biggest issue with what I’m saying is that you are unable to comprehend it if it doesn’t consist solely of single syllable words. I’m not questioning Kusal’s technique; the techniques used to demonize a religion or system are well established and practiced. What I am questioning is his strategy of targeting the system rather than the practice of the system, and the thinking that allows such a strategy to be practiced on a blog that claims to seek ethnic reconciliation. I’m sorry if my detailing of my thinking bores you, but I think responses that rely on cliche rather than thinking to be unhelpful.

      “The central point raised by Kusal is that the Sinhalese Buddhists are weighed down by a “Heenayana mentality” and that it is retarding progress in numerous areas including political thinking and the Arts.”

      In order to support such a generalisation, one needs to first establish that a “Heenayana mentality” is in fact a weight, and this can be done in two ways; (1) by showing that the practice of Heenayana/Theravadha Buddhism is hindering progress, in the way similar studied critiques have been made on Orthodox Judaism, fundamental Christianity, and Wahhabi Islam and (2) by showing that Heenayana/Theravadha Buddhism itself is a flawed system and that all practitioners of it are thereby flawed.

      The first strategy requires a more detailed study than the latter, and doesn’t guarantee that the objective will be achieved unless an overwhelming number of examples are found, and even then it is arguable whether the cause can be attributed to the system and not the practice of it. The second strategy is a much easier route to the objective as it doesn’t really require any evidence or statistical detail; all that is required is that the system (in this case Heenayana/Theravadha Buddhism) be proven to be flawed; and as with all religions, this is pretty simple. So (to make it easier for Indonicus to comprehend), while the first strategy may or may not acknowledge the quality of the system, it will recognize that it is the practice which is crucial, whereas the second will merely focus on the quality of the system.

      • indonicus

        “In order to support such a generalisation, one needs to first establish that a “Heenayana mentality” is in fact a weight, and this can be done in two ways; (1) by showing that the practice of Heenayana/Theravadha Buddhism is hindering progress, in the way similar studied critiques have been made on Orthodox Judaism, fundamental Christianity, and Wahhabi Islam and (2) by showing that Heenayana/Theravadha Buddhism itself is a flawed system and that all practitioners of it are thereby flawed.

        The first strategy requires a more detailed study than the latter, and doesn’t guarantee that the objective will be achieved unless an overwhelming number of examples are found, and even then it is arguable whether the cause can be attributed to the system and not the practice of it. The second strategy is a much easier route to the objective as it doesn’t really require any evidence or statistical detail; all that is required is that the system (in this case Heenayana/Theravadha Buddhism) be proven to be flawed; and as with all religions, this is pretty simple. So (to make it easier for Indonicus to comprehend), while the first strategy may or may not acknowledge the quality of the system, it will recognize that it is the practice which is crucial, whereas the second will merely focus on the quality of the system.”

        Wow! One gobful followed by another, an even bigger one! I am sure you are this picky about every assertion made here, Dayan, oops sorry, Blacker. LOL

        Do you also use Dayan’s ID or is it only the other way around???

      • Ah, Indonicus, I see you’ve eschewed even a pretence of rational argument in favour of a posture of childish mocking. That’s always a good tactic when you’ve nothing useful to say 😀

      • indonicus

        You seem to maintain your pretenses far better than I ever can, Blacker.

        Heshan is out. Go play with him.

      • For someone who dislikes meaningless arguments, Indonicus, you seem to indulge in many.

  • yapa

    Many try to put blame on Sinhalese, as the root cause of Tamil separatism. They try dilute it to a mere reaction of Sinhala atrocities. People like Kusal Perera want to narrow down all the sins to “Heenayana Buddhism”. Is the cause so simple and and Tamil ambitions are so innocent?

    Please read.

    http://www.srilankaguardian.org/search/label/B.R.%20Haran

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    please read the first article of the given link.

    Thanks!

  • Heshan

    Dear yapa:

    Thanks for your comments. It seems you have mixed a few things up. The existence of God cannot be proved or disproved. Most of the theories that try to either prove or disprove the existence of God lie outside the scope of science. This was discussed in detail in various other threads. Avyakata shows that Buddhism is incomplete. An incomplete system of logic is not necessarily incorrect, but it has limited applicability. When you say no philosophy was able to contradict Buddhism you are forgetting that Buddhism is not an original philosophy. Most of the Buddhist doctrines have a Hindu derivative. So here is a contradiction already. If one tries to claim Buddhism is atheist, yet acknowledges that it has at its base strong Hindu roots, there is a conflict.

    • yapa

      Dear Heshan;

      Again you are behaving like an eel to refuse to all the concluded facts in previous discussions.

      There is no other way than becoming intellectually honest. No one can repeat every proved thing forever to counter your mischief.

      Thanks!

  • Heshan

    TT,

    What you say is contradictory. Singapore which is a very apt model for Sri Lanka has no devolution! Japan is not a good example of devolution either. You cannot match one piece from west and another one from the east. It comes in a package.

    Singapore was part of the same federation as Malaysia, but due to irreconcilable differences broke off and has been recognized as an independent entity ever since. I did not point to Japan as an example of devolution, but as a model of Asian democracy.


    In the past Sinhalese and Tamils didn’t live seperately. If there were seperate nations (I’m not talking about a few decades or a century but milinnia) they should have clashed constantly.

    Consider the converse. Had they lived together, they should be fluent in each others languages. How many Sinhalese do you know that are fluent in Tamil?


    But nothing of the sort happened. It was Tamils and others from across the seas who had clashes with Sri Lanka. The way wars were fought then, a seperate Tamil nation within the island would not have stood a chance.

    Your theory tacitly assumes Sinhalese are indigenous to the island, or at least were on the island long before the Tamils You are presuming that the Sinhalese were living on the island peacefully for hundreds of years until the silence was broken by Tamil invasions.


    I agree that we need a modern solution. Modern solutions are based on ethnic integration throughout the country. No racial homelands. Anyway you have not denied (with facts) that Tamil racism is much worse than SInhala racism. I have proved it beyond challenge.

    As I have noted on this forum many times, “India” is yet another artificial state created by the British. The Tamil agitation you speak of were meant to impose/constrain Hindi domination. In the end, only a federal solution would have worked for India.

    • “Singapore was part of the same federation as Malaysia, but due to irreconcilable differences broke off and has been recognized as an independent entity ever since. I did not point to Japan as an example of devolution, but as a model of Asian democracy.”

      Heshan, Singapore was a part of the Federation of Malaysia for a mere two years of its history, so if you’re trying to use this as grounds for Eelam here in SL, it’s a pretty lame one, especially given that Singapore was never a part of Malaysia, but chose to join the federation. Also, it did not “break off” as you claim, but was expelled from the federation. I’m glad you didn’t attempt to portray Singapore as a democratic nation, since it clearly isn’t, as we’ve pretty much established in this thread. We also saw pretty clearly why Singapore is not a viable model for SL — the former has no rural population, is a tiny city/state, and hasn’t any real democracy. I hope you’re not attempting to go down that old road again 😀

      “Consider the converse. Had they lived together, they should be fluent in each others languages. How many Sinhalese do you know that are fluent in Tamil?”

      Living in one nation doesn’t mean living in the same village or community. The biggest fallacy of the separatist two-nation argument is that they want just certain aspects of the pre-colonial era; they overlook things like the Upcountry Tamil population which was a British introduction, and who would have no place in a pre-colonial system.

      “Your theory tacitly assumes Sinhalese are indigenous to the island blah blah”

      Arguing about who was indigenous, who arrived first, who has more historical right, what was done to whom by the British, etc is ultimately both irrelevant and pointless. The fact is both Sinhalese and Tamils live here now, and have done so for centuries; both communities have equal rights in the country. The grounds for separation was because Tamils were not granted those equal rights, not because of whatever political map SL had in pre-colonial history. If the GoSL can ensure the Tamils their rights, there is no grounds for separation.

      “In the end, only a federal solution would have worked for India.”

      But that doesn’t mean that only a federal solution will work in SL.

    • TT

      Heshan,

      David has given a good answer. In addition……

      I don’t assume Sinhalese were in the island before Tamils. I assume they both lived together as long as we know. They lived together, not seperately. Because had they lived seperately, the “Tamil nation” would have not stood a chance when war broke out between Sri Lanka and Pandyans/Cholas. The first to be attacked would be the Tamil nation in Sri Lanka in such a case. But no such thing happened.

      Your argument that Sinhalese should be fluent in Tamil and Tamils should be fluent in Sinhala if they lived together is absurd. Sinhalese were the majority and Tamils learned to speak in Sinhalas as they do in Canada (English/French), UK (English), France (French), Norway (Norwegian), Swiss (German), Australia (English). Also many Tamil words were adopted by the Sinhalese. This is happening in the west too. Certain Tamil words (most are “bad words” unfortunately) are in urban usgage in UK, Canada. You know what they are! So it was the same in Sri Lanka long before.

      You say India has resolved the problem through federalism. Another joke. If it has been resolved why all the talk about Dravidistan? Recently the TN CM said his signature resembles Dravidistan! Why? Why Seeman, Vaiko, Nedumaran, etc, are regularly go to prison for talking about TN people? Why TN people have refused to integrate with the majority Hindi speaking Indians? Why a large number of TN people support the creation of a Tamil nation elsewhere because they cannot do so in India due to massive Indian army?

      Federalism is an old thing now. Certainly not a 21st century one. It rose to prominance in the latter half of the old century (20th). The modern solution in the “global village” is ethnic integration throughout the nation. There are no Sinhala only districts, but there are many Tamil only districts. Ethnic composition of these must be changed for a modern solution. Army camps won’t do. Army camps should be phased out giving rise to new multi ethnic villeges.

      Race based federalism which is found main in India is a disaster. The Australian federal model is much better. Certainly there is better peace in Australia than India! You cannot deny that! USA is another example. The US/Australian federal model suits Sri Lanka much better than the relatively failed Indian model. For that Sri Lanka’s provincial boundaries should change. Northern province, North Central province and the North Western Province can be one state. Eastern province, Uva province and the Southern province can be another state. Western province, Central province and Sabaragamuwa province can be another state. No problem. Why mix racism with federalism? We can have multi racial federalism, if at all we want federalism! The best of both worlds! Like USA or Australia or many other federal nations. I guess you are against it? Am I right? LOL!

  • Heshan

    *The Tamil agitations you speak of were meant to constrain Hindi domination.

  • Travelling Academic

    To those of you on a war path with Kusal:

    The way I understood Kusal’s previous article was that Buddhism, being an ancient noble religion, with the peace-for-all-no-political-interference-farmers-higher-than-fishermen way in which it is implemented deserves extensive respect and reverence from us all. Buddhism is different from the Catholic Church which is organised around power, ready to chop the head of the king who doesn’t fall in line, and has arranged royal marriages so that political power stays in a particular religious sector etc. etc. Hence Sri Lankans, largely Buddhists, cannot be mobilized to come onto the streets in protest against a regime that has centralized power so much, dismantled our democratic institutions systematically and has shown extreme callousness and insensitivity in the way it treats some of its citizens.

    I think this is largely true because during the two JVP rebellions, we didn’t see Buddhist monks in large numbers leading from the front.

    Apart from that sense of respect for Buddhism, and disappointment that it is not going help organize a rebellion, what did he say to upset you so much?

    • Well, I for one am not in the least upset by Kusal’s original article. However, that doesn’t mean he’s right either. His basic premise that the Sinhalese have no drive or initiative vis a vis a rebellion against this government due to their Heenayana/Theravadha mentality looks rather absurd when you consider the fact that this government was elected by a large majority just a few years ago, and its constituency is largely happy with its governance. This has nothing to do with any Buddhism, Theravadha or whatever.

      His examples of Iran, etc, are ridiculous; Iran was suffering under a hated dictatorial monarchy for decades before there was any attempt at revolt.

      • Travelling Academic

        But don’t you think, since independence, our governments got many things so wrong (monotonic widening of the gap between rich and poor, police violence, mass unemployment amongst educated youth, corruption etc) up to the point that our youth also rebelled in frustration — violently, twice (71 and 88). Suppose the monks had also come out strongly in support of the frustrated youth, then those rebellions might also have gained the same momentum as in Teheran and Manila. Buddhism did not take the side of the frustrated poor in our society. From that perspective, I do think Kusal’s position has legitimacy. I may well be completely wrong of course, but Kusal’s idea needs thought and discussion rather than emotive rejection.

      • wijayapala

        TA

        Suppose the monks had also come out strongly in support of the frustrated youth, then those rebellions might also have gained the same momentum as in Teheran and Manila.

        No, because then Kusal and Prof Heshan would be bleating that Sri Lanka had turned into a theocracy. From their perspective, ANYTHING we do will be wrong because we are Buddhists.

      • TA, you seem to take for granted that the violent pseudo-Marxist rebellions of the JVP were in fact correct and worthy of support by the Buddhist clergy. In reality, the ’71 Insurgency was a result of the unemployment of youth educated in Sinhalese; itself a symptom of racist politics. The ’87 Insurgency was in support of the very same racist politics that had originally disenfranchised the educated rural youth of ’71; ie an ultra-nationalism that found fault with the concessions that the Indo-Lanka Accord made to Tamils. Do you think such terrorist uprisings were worthy of support by the Buddhist clerical establishment? I think there’s a big difference in speaking up for the poor and working for their betterment, and violently overthrowing the democratic system.

        Certainly, successive administrations in SL have made big mistakes in basing politics on ethnic identity rather than a national one — which SL has upto now failed to find — but is the reluctance of the Buddhist clergy to support the overthrow of such systems indicative of its tacit support for the system? In some ways, it is, especially in the last decade in which we’ve seen a radical politicization of the Buddhist clergy. IMO, the latter is a direct result of the majority Sinhalese accepting the racial/religious identity to be the national identity; and many members of the clergy agreeing with this. However, this still isn’t evidence that Theravadha Buddhism is the problem anymore than the crusades prove that Christianity is the problem. In both cases, religion is merely a flag of convenience for political unscrupulousness. So the bottom line is that the practice of the system is flawed rather than the system; though essentially all religious systems are flawed in some way or another; which is why religion should be kept far away from government.

        My responses haven’t been emotive, partly because I am not a Buddhist and don’t really have a dog in this fight. However, I think it’s important to point out the error of theses such as Kusal’s, which while being wrong, merely compound the error by offending people when an easing of tension between the communities as well as a ratcheting down of the Sinhalese paranoia is so essential.

    • wijayapala

      TA,

      The way I understood Kusal’s previous article was that Buddhism, being an ancient noble religion, with the peace-for-all-no-political-interference-farmers-higher-than-fishermen way in which it is implemented deserves extensive respect and reverence from us all.

      I didn’t see any of that in Kusal’s article. That he uses the derogatory term “Heenayana” to describe Buddhism in Sri Lanka illustrates very well the utter lack of respect he has (or total ignorance, if he was not aware the term is derogatory).

  • ordinary man

    why should buddist come to streets and protest against the present regime?
    there may be few who never wanted to see crushing and decisively defeating ltte in a eastern beach. but sinhala buddists wanted to see it. so they mobilized few new divisions for the army when it was needed.
    after all what is Mr.kusal asking sinhala buddists to do? in the name of progress (again true buddism is asking to develop mind not the wealth and it is an alternative way of living with what is having without worrying about what is not having) should 70% sri lankan start believing a god? 😀

  • yapa

    Dear All;

    As Mr. Kusal Perera seems to be deaf and blind to our queries, as to what the model of society he is expecting to build for Sri Lankans to which “Nihilistic Heenayana Buddhist Ideology” is opposing, I think we ourselves should try to understand it at our level best from his writing within the limitations of our small capacity compared to him.

    I think following parts taken from Mr. Kusal Perera’s writing indicate a clear picture of his model.

    ……………..

    1. The approach in dividing this world into a noble East and a vicious West and the attitude of those who wish to feel “pure” in their Heenayana Sinhala dressing, negates the fact that “knowledge and technology” in this world grew and evolved to what it is today and what it would be tomorrow, with different societies across the globe from East to West, contributing, acquiring and assimilating knowledge and technology, and developing them to new levels of knowledge and technology.

    2. So is “democracy” and modern political philosophy. Democracy that is identified as “Western” is a long process of capital formation, growth of nation States, exploitation of colonies and how they themselves could be governed. Grown and developed over centuries, through many debacles and struggles of mostly oppressed people. That also includes the break away of the “Lutheran” Clergy from the Roman Catholic church, in progressively interpreting the Bible. Such knowledge accumulation and technological advancements took off in the West, with the development of printing, that for the first time allowed knowledge and philosophical discourse to be shared socially.

    3. All societies that does not understand such growth and advancement of “knowledge, science and technology” as borderless “human achievement” and close themselves up to outside influence and growth, had been failures. China’s fall during the ‘Ming dynasty’ is a classic example. The strength of the West lies in its culture that was ever an open process.

    What is instead proposed by those who shy away from modern “democratic” concepts and governing structures as “Western” dumps on us, has nothing for us to lean on, as a solution. If not the globally accepted human and democratic rights, what choice ? If not the internationally accepted concepts of representative and participatory democracy, what choice ?

    The choice is that of a tyranny, that I don’t concede to, or accept as a choice, under any socio political context.

    ……………….

    If I summarize them and take the spirit out of his writing above, I think what he is proposing is a “Wealthy Modern Western Democracy”, where people have more freedom to choose their consumables and (individual) freedom and people are more “empowered” than the countries represented by the models like Sri Lanka. I think the examples for his model invariable include USA, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Holland,Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Canada and Australia.

    I think I am not wrong if I say his notion is that Nihilistic Heenayana Buddhism is opposing Sri Lanka to become such a country and hence it should be discarded and thrown away it branding it a “person non- grata”.

    We will see how a wealthy nation proposed by Mr. Kusal Perera is built according to the revered “Western Economics” and how really the countries mentioned above, rose into that heights, looking a bit into the world history.

    I think, I am not wrong if I am to say Adams Smith was the founder theoretician of those wealthy nations to be built to enjoy the fruits by their future generations to be born in that fortunate countries and make the unfortunate people of the other countries to fight quoting the dazzling lights of fortunate nations or make them to say “those grapes are sour”.

    According to the western Economics there are three factors that form wealth. They are called factors of production namely,Land, Labour and Capital. According to the theory Labour uses capital on land to produce wealth. So this is the formula of formation of wealth, and the only formula, according to western Economics.

    Now we will turn our heads toward how the white gentlemen of those wealthy nations formed those three factors of production that made them wealthy,how they mobilized these factors of production to form wealth in their nations, to be earnestly aspired abruptly by the people like Mr. Kusal Perera, who is considered to be belonged to opposite school of western thought, namely Marxism.

    (Please note that all these factors are considered in their broad meanings of the words have in their contexts in Economics and not the brief meanings indicated by them in their day to day use.)

    1. Land

    Please consider how the countries mentioned above mobilized “land” in forming their wealth.

    It is true some of the counties like Canada, USA and Australia had a reasonable amount of land sufficient to form their wealth, however,it should be noted that these nations were not wealthy, at the time the Europe rose in their Renaissance. The European nations that were lacking land at that time to form the wealth of their nations went in rampage to invade these countries along with whole Asia and Africa making mighty empires, ruining their countries and bringing devastation and misery to the true owners of those lands. Lands were robbed from the owners and wealth was formed, see what happened to the true owners of those countries today. They have to beg for a morsel of bread from those civilized white gentlemen, who acquired their land to civilize those unfortunate savage half half ape men.

    I don’t know how a true Marxist like Kusal Perera appove, appriciate,
    admire, aspire and promote “Imperialism” to build his dream world model of wealthy nation in Sri Lanka. Imperialism was an essential factor (of finding mandatory land factor of production) of forming so impressive wealth in those nations, Mr. Kusal Perera advocates being a member of a prestigious school of western thought which vehemently opposed imperialism. Marx, Lenin see what calamity has befallen on one of your ardent advocates.

    Thanks!

    To be continued………

    • ordinary man

      Mr.yapa… in countries u mentioned (US/UK etc) another common thing can be noted (other than their “progressive religion” ) all of them spend much more than they earn!
      in other words in those countries external debts are much higher than foreign exchange reserves!
      (this happy time of them would last till Yuan captures the place of US$)
      buddism is not advocating this short of way of living! so it is not progressive!

      • yapa

        Dear ordinary man;

        “in other words in those countries external debts are much higher than foreign exchange reserves!
        (this happy time of them would last till Yuan captures the place of US$)”

        What is it?, It is nothing of the sort of a negative aspect of their economies, our imitator scholars would say. They would interpret it as a wonderfully good positive trend of the modern day living.

        We still have hundreds of learned idiots in this very country who proudly express that colonization of this country by the imperialists as a blessing. This the enlightenment they got from the western education. Their eyes were washed so that they cannot see even simple truths even a small child can understand. We are living with such people together with Kusal Pereras.

        They will shoot back to the earth from their mansions built in the sky, when Yuan captures the place of US$, as you said.

        Ohoma Yun! Ohoma yun!!

        Thanks!

    • yapa

      Continuation of my post of January 14, 2011 • 7:39 am, …….

      Dear All, specially our heart-held friend Mr. Kusal Perera;

      Now will draw our attention to the second Factor of Production.

      2. Labour

      Labour is an essential factor of production or formation of wealth. As mentioned before Labour uses capital on land to produce wealth. We saw that the European nations didn’t had enough land for their aspired wealth formation and how they acquired land.Did they have enough labour for their sky high expectation of becoming strong wealthy nations?

      You really know the story, forced migration against the will of the people. Millions of Africans were taken as slaves to work in the agriculture fields in Europe and American continent. Millions of Indians were taken against their will to work in various parts of the world. We really know the problems we are facing as Sri Lankans as a result of the people brought from India by Dutch and British colonials changing the whole demographic map of the country, which went further as claiming a part of the country.

      The imperialists exploited labour of the innocent people all over the world to build so called Utopian Wealthy Democracies of the world.

      Does that ardent Marxist of the past Mr. Kusal Perera approve of the “exploitation of labour”, to build wealthy democratic nations? What will Marx and Lenin would say if they lived to see the sweet face of their follower?

      3. Capital

      Capital in the context not only represents money but includes all the resources/ raw materials needed in the production process. We know how imperialists robbed the resources all over the world, to increase their wealth. They robbed diamond and gold from Africa, gold and coal from American continent, after massacring the natives lived in there for an unknown period of time. They grew sugar cane, tobacco, tea, coffee and built factories, roads and railroads to transport the robbed wealth.

      Marx said,

      “The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the indigenous population of that continent, the beginnings of the conquest and plunder of India, and the conversion of Africa into a preserve for the commercial hunting of black-skins, are all things which characterize the dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief moments of primitive accumulation.

      Further, I have heard that Marx has defined capital as “robbed wealth”.
      Can the ardent Marxism advocate, our writer Mr. Kusal Perera to approve robbing of wealth from other nations to build his much aspired Utopian Dream,”Wealthy Western Model Democracy”? Dear Marxist, your irony is laughing at your sweet face. Say cheese!

      Thanks!

      To be continued…….

      • yapa

        Continuation from my post of January 14, 2011 • 7:39 am, …..

        Dear All;including heart felt Mr. Kusal Perera;

        4.Entrepreneurship

        The imperialism and colonies the imperialists had helped many counties in Europe to become wealthy nations and this fact is evident as those nations came in a declined path after they lost their colonies, the hunting grounds. It also should be noted that main reason for the incident of poverty throughout the “backward” countries of the world is the exploitation of the imperialists who ruined them by sucking their life-blood by way of land, capital and labour.

        However, the countries like USA, Canada and Australia became more wealthy even after all the colonies were done away with. How this is possible if the only mode of wealth formation is the exploitation of other countries, in a forced manner by Imperialism?

        There is a separate phenomenon taken place meanwhile that is worthwhile to bring to the notice. Economists of the world have added a new factor of production to the list of factors of production, namely “Entrepreneurship or Organization” in the recent past.

        Is there any relationship between the above two phenomena?

        Yes, really the role played by imperialism, that is exploitation of factors of production from the rest of the world, was handed over to that new factor. Really, Entrepreneurship, an organisation of crafty men, made plans to exploit the world in a gentle and more effective manner than outdated imperialism and factors of production continued to flow in multiplied quanta towards those wealthy nations equipped with so called knowledge, technology and scientific advancement. Really they were tools develop in those countries to siphon the essential factors of production from their hunting grounds countries. Entrepreneurship ensured it and countries based on “knowledge” continued to grow in wealth and new nations like USA, Canada and Australia were formed.

        But how did Entrepreneurship make this happen?

        Really it was “Unfair Trading” arranged between the wealthy nations and the poor countries made the wonder happen.

        Unfair trade agreements arranged with the help of organizations like WTO, WCO, World Bank, IMF made Trading always disadvantageous to the under-developed agriculture based or raw material supplying countries. (False)”Value Additions” made at wealthy counties turned raw materials into thousand times worth finished or industrial goods, and one container of them were exchanged to a thousand containers of raw materials coming from under-developed countries. That much is the power of “value addition” of the wealthy countries. We really have that experience, we have to exchange more than 1500 coconuts for a value added product, a cellular phone weight of which is not more than 100 grammes.

        With each and every trade, exchange of raw materials for “value added industrial goods”, resources or capital went flowing at a pace of a tsunami to wealthy countries. Cunning tactical sweet theories like ” free market economy” were introduced to accelerate the pace of flow making the wealth formation fast.

        But how they manged to ensure the uninterrupted “flow of land and labour”? The magic word “globalization” did it in a Giffy. They taught the magic word to the leaned imitator parrots of their hunting grounds and they readily accepted and educated and convinced their uneducated people of the mighty gifts the globalization would bring them.

        Poor countries released the barriers and let the factors of production move freely through their frontiers without any hindrance. Factories of the wealthy nations moved to the countries with cheap labour and found land too at cheap rates. They could cut off the transport costs of raw materials to and finished good pro. They found all the factors of production in the same place and a growing market to sell their value added products at the same place.The game was easier than the imperialism which needed use of force, at some cost to them.

        That is how the modern wealthy nations grow in wealth and shine to dazzle the eyes of half learnt Marxists, who want us to follow “Neo-imperialism” to make us like “white gentlemen who ware trousers to both their legs” (kakul dekatama kalisan andina mahaththuru), by exploiting some other poor nations.

        Marx, Lenin please forgive this ignorant man.

        Thanks!

        To be continued……

      • yapa

        Continuation from my post of January 14, 2011 • 9:59 pm…..

        Dear All, with special tribute to Mr. Kusal Perera;

        5. Democracy

        When we talk about Mr. Kusal Perera’s “Wealthy Modern Western Democracy”, we cannot ignore to talk a little bit about democracy too.

        For over 1500 years after Aristotle, people of the world believed that the sun circles around the earth. None among the world population was brave enough to query the notion during that period, until some of people sacrificed their lives before establishing the truth, I suppose in the 15th or 16th century. Today the taboo is same for “democracy”. None is brave enough to query democracy, even though the adverse results are amply visible. For everybody democracy is the flawless political model that should be adopted over the globe without any exception. But I don’t see such a universality in democracy both in terms of theory and practice.

        Plato’s political model recommended for the “Republic” was the a rule by a Philosopher King. Still there are some people who believe that a “benevolent dictator” is better for a country. They support their theory, saying that there are few countries developed through democratic model against their belief of benevolent dictator. They cite, Singapore, Malaysia etc. as countries developed through their believed political ideology.

        Plato’s student Aristotle put forward ” Rule of Law” as the political model against the “Philosopher King”. He disputed the continuous ability to produce philosopher kings by any education system of a country. So he said that rule should be handed over to a set of stipulated laws, that must remain above the rulers. He recommends rulers to rule according to the said stipulated set of laws. The set of laws should be determined by the citizens and it was a direct rule of them. This model was later became to be Representative Democracy and adopted by many countries over the world.

        However, looking at so called democracies in the world, we don’t see much homogeneity among them. We can see entirely opposites entities bearing the same name “Democracy”. Though many recommend it as the panacea for all the ailments, there are critics who see many loop holes in them in the theoretical aspect too.

        1. It is expensive to maintain a democracy. Without abundant resources it cannot sustain. The unrests prevailing in Greece, UK, USA, etc. during the recession shows this state.

        2. Many raise the question whether it is reasonable to give same right to all the people to elect their representatives. Democracy has no indifference towards educated-uneducated, poor-rich, pious-wild, sane-insane, in the case of choosing their people to rule them.

        3. Many query whether the people have the right knowledge to choose their representatives. For example South Sudan People who has only 15% of literacy have the right to decide their destiny to break away from North Sudan. Here, another peculiar aspect of this “democratic Process” is that people of North Sudan has no right to cast their vote to decide whether a portion of their country should break away or not.

        4. Ability to Manipulate voters. I think no examples are needed in this case. Can anybody name a single “Democratic Election” took place in this “Democracy”.

        Please read this too,

        http://www.google.lk/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBoQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdemocracyreform.blogspot.com%2F2010%2F05%2Fthose-following-news-these-days-cannot.html&ei=d5ExTfSuO4_RrQe9pMXfCA&usg=AFQjCNGLWNLyUYuAFx3YT_c1Nt8xbs2avw

        If you are interested and you do not think Democracy as the perfect model for every nation on earth, you can find many as above.

        Even in the practical aspects it is very reasonably questionable whether the acts of “model democracies of west” towards other countries are democratic. Do they accept the equality of the people in other countries? Do they practice international democracy? Do they display democracy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Middle East? Do their covenants, conversions and agreements with others display the democratic features? Does their trade with other countries are fair, justifiable and contains democratic principles? Were their past actions for about 600-700 years can be justifiable in terms of democracy?

        “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” of John Perkins removed the clothes of the chief of model democracy in 2004. Wiki leaks did the rest. I think the creditability of democracy as a good political system is declining in both theoretical and practical aspects.

        Mr. Marxist, do you want us to be democratic as shown above? Can you remember what Marx said about Capitalistic Democracies? Marx said true democracy can be achieved only in a communist society.

        Are you so absent minded to forget all these fundamentals of Marxism, Leninism, Trotskyism, Stalinism, Maoism, Capitalism, Imperialism, Atheism, Agnosticism, you mentioned as pet subjects of yours in your first or second response to us? Was it age that erased your memory or what calamity befallen on you brought this disaster to you, oh! my dear mighty Marxist friend?

        Thanks!

        To be continued…………

    • yapa

      Continuation from my post of January 14, 2011 • 9:59 pm

      Mr. Kusal Perera; (and All)

      Now Mr. Kusal Perera, let me tell you where it has gone wrong for you. You understood you were wrong when you were a Marxist that is why you you changed the line to capitalism, and I think you have no arms to fight against my proof that you went wrong again after you became an ardent advocate of Capitalism. It is the fundamental error of the western ideologies of understanding the entity of “man” in particular and all “living beings” in particular. When you misunderstood these basic “atomic entities” of any subject or ideology, no ideology can be right and invariably bears the seeds of going wrong some day. That is what is happening to the political ideologies of west. You accept one political ideology today, and give it up tomorrow saying it is wrong and catch up a new one. Day after it is gone and another comes to the place to be thrown away next day. They are in a never ending process of finding appropriate ideology, but just as mirage goes away as you try to reach them the ideology you are looking for will run away for away from you. You will never see the reality of man or the societies made of men or able to make correct ideologies when your fundamental notion of man is wrong.

      The main theoretical background of the west still rests on the “Deterministic Newtonian Science”, that says anything in the universe can be explained though mechanics of particles. That is for them, matter is the fundamental entity that makes everything. This is the spring of any other subject of the west whether it is economics or Social Science or Biology. So any subject of west tries to understand anything considering it as a composition of matter, all sort of epistemological tools from Analysis to synthesis are use in the process. For example Biology and chemistry try to explain man in terms of chemical compositions, but no chemist or biologist was able to understand the nature of man to a satisfactory level yet. They never will explain the mystery of human life or any of any other being. The reason is west sees only a part of man, and they can describe him only the way the bind men described the elephant. Bind men of west can touch only the “material part” of the man, and hence his description of man or a composition of them, in their pure science or social science or any other subject will not contain the truth more than the blind man who described the elephant after touching its tail.

      Really man is not just a material composition as understood by the western knowledge systems. Man has a non material aspect as well. In many of the eastern philosophies constituent components were identified as “Nama” and “Rupa”. Rupa is the name for material section of any living being and nama is the non material part. Buddhism goes further to say that a living being is a composition of five components namely, Rupa, Vedana, Sanna, Sankara and Vinnana, first one being the material part and the rest four being non material. For eastern philosophy, man is more non material than material. Hence to identify man you need to identify the non material aspect even more than the material part. I think this is the definition of man from the angle of the east.

      Now, from the angle of western political ideologies that has good faith of “doing good” to people, tries to find all the avenues to serve the man to lift him to a higher place, on their conception/definition of man, that is as a material entity. So they try to the development of their material comforts. So the sole aim of western political ideologies is to find ways to satisfy the demands of the “five sensory organs”. That is the reason why “utility” becomes the central theme of the western Economics. Satisfaction comes from consumption, and therefore you need to consume more and more for greater satisfaction. This demands more wealth. That is how this drive for wealth sprang from the western out look of the man and the world. Materialism demanded Consumerism and consumerism demanded Capitalism and Imperialism to find more wealth to get more materialistic satisfaction. However, the inhumanity of capitalism and Imperialism went in rampage to find more wealth all over the world was seen through the inevitable destruction experienced from the battles for wealth accumulation, and Marxism came against this inhumanity alone not shedding the other aspects of western western outlook. It still advocated wealth and material development but not in the wild way adopted by the capitalism and Imperialism. However, the best way of accumulation of wealth does not go with ethics and moral, and hence Marxism lost the battle in forming the wealth for their nations, to the desperation of the followers like Mr. Kusal Perera.

      However, Capitalism could not stop the “despair” coming to their world after repeated world wars came about as a result of the effort to divide the world among them, the capitalist wolves. In the effort of coming out of the chaos of debris of the destruction “Existentialism” came up in the west to see whether there is a glimpse of purpose of life after the utmost desperation created in the humans race by the ideologies built with the basic error of identification of man. Did existentialism resole the problem?

      That ism, this ism and many other isms came and many more isms will come, but can you any sign of a solution to the “suffering” man is under going?

      That is the reason why I asked his idea about these isms from Mr. Kusal Perra, at the beginning in my post. He wanted to show his knowledge about many more isms, but showed his ignorance or misunderstanding of them.

      Any ism coming from west with the basic error of understanding man and in a broader sense “living beings” will not be able to find solutions to “human problems”. They will jump from one tree to another tree and again to another tree, but those trees won’t bear the real fruit of medicine. I think the tree grows in the east.

      Just trying to satisfying the material part of the man will not satisfy the “full man”. Further, we so how it brings destruction to man as wealth in the world is not sufficient to satisfy all the cravings of the man or his five senses. You will have to control your cravings. You will have to take care of the non material part of man too. For this you will have to inculcate some spirituality in you. You need some morality, some discipline to your greedy senses, some “sila”. Some discipline to live a virtuous life not troubling others.

      Can anybody live a good life without troubling others through a society developed with any western political ideology, that seeks innumerable wealth to achieve its aspired goal? You will have to robs people for three factors of production and have to cheat them in trade to become an aspired “Modern Wealthy Democratic Nation”. Is there any other way and even if we achieve it will the problems ceased to be end.

      Mr. Kusal Perera; Are you suggesting us to do all sort of unwholesome things to become a wealthy nation, still not to solve your problems?

      Buddhism, teaches us to live a right living in “Noble Eight Fold Path”. Five percepts recommend us morality not harm others, not to kill, not to lie, not to rob,…, Are you asking us to give up them and to rob and cheat people to become wealthy, still not to be satisfied? Our people had a peaceful life going in the middle path based on holistic philosophy, until imperialists destroyed it to satisfy their unending cravings.

      Mr, Kusal Perera, I understand, in your unhealthy mind Heenayana Buddhism is nihilistic. I understand your notion, my dear ever desperating friend, Thanks!

      • yapa

        Mr. Kusal Perera;

        I would like to hear a sweet word from you, about my posts. Please give your feed back. At least say whether you agree with what I said or not.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Mr. Kusal Perer;

        I am so worried there is no indication as to where you are these days, mainly because the torrent rains and floods fallen these days. I think you are safe and sound wherever you are, thinking in the line of your name suggests. You could do no or not supposed to do unwholesome deeds (AKusal) and you are supposed to face only good kammas as per the Nihilistic Buddhism you revere. However, I think I have a right to be heard from you as I have done an unwholesome deed (AKusal) by asking some clarifications, in some unwholesome language. It is given below for your easy reference.

        “Please back up your claims. We need to discuss the matter in depth, in a subtle plane. Come on Mr. Kusal Perera, answer my questions if your brave heart is not shaking. Catch me if possible, I challenge you and promise to show that you are not a person who can see beyond your nose’s length.”

        You said it a heroic comment, however, even after I wrote realms of cyber papers after that, I didn’t even a meek noise from you, that is why I am so upset.

        Please write a few lines from wherever you are these days and console our burning hearts amidst this downpour of water.

        Thanks!

  • Heshan

    Also, it did not “break off” as you claim, but was expelled from the federation.

    No need to mince words, Blacker. I could have said it was forced to break off which is the same thing as expulsion. In any case, it broke off from the federation, whether willingly or unwillingly is irrelevent.

    I’m glad you didn’t attempt to portray Singapore as a democratic nation

    Unfortunately Singapore is more democratic than SL. The irony is that SL actually calls itself a “democratic socialist republic.” Singapore is indeed a democracy:

    The Constitution of Singapore establishes representative democracy as the nation’s political system.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore

    We also saw pretty clearly why Singapore is not a viable model for SL

    Is that why J.R. Jayawardene was hell bent on turning on SL into the next Singapore?

    —–

    “War ruined Lanka’s hopes of being another Singapore

    If not for the ethnic conflict that has ravaged the country, Sri Lanka would have been another Singapore, says Ronnie De Mel, Economic Advisor to the President and former Minister of Finance.

    Elaborating on comments he made in a 1977 budget speech about the strength of the Sri Lanka rupee, he said at that time, the country had seen a growth rate of 8.3%, the ‘highest in the whole of Asia and probably the highest in the world.’ At that point n time, he said there was no China and India so there was justification for his hope. “Unfortunately, my hope was never fulfilled.”

    De Mel said that since 1983, Sri Lanka’s economy has been moving backwards and attributes the decline to the ethnic conflict that has ravaged the nation. He recalled that in 1978, Lee Kwan Yew, the former Prime Minister of Singapore was invited by then President J.R. Jayawardene to come to Sri Lanka to offer some advice as to whether the country was going down the right economic path. “Before us, Lee Kwan Yew was the only person to liberalize an economy with the exception of Chile was done under a military regime,” De Mel said. “There was opposition from various people in Sri Lanka who were advocates of a closed economy. All newspaper groups opposed me.

    All were against it and there was some confusion and a fair amount of doubt even within the Cabinet.”

    After a week long visit by Yew along with six members of his Cabinet, final discussions were held at the President’s house in Nuwara Eliya where Yew expressed great enthusiasm. “I popped a question and asked him if we went on like this without any break, how long will it take for Sri Lanka to get to Singapore’s level?” The answer was 10 years but Yew told former President Jayawardene that it is imperative that the ethnic conflict be settled.

    http://sundaytimes.lk/070506/FinancialTimes/ft331.html

    Even in the formation of the new Constitution, J.R. was influenced by Singapore:

    “This has happened within a framework of the attempt by the J.R. Jayawardene regime to create a one party system similar to Singapore’s Lee Kwan Yew model.”

    http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2006statements/666/

    The biggest fallacy of the separatist two-nation argument is that they want just certain aspects of the pre-colonial era;

    What is undeniable is that the various ethnic groups were living more peacefully before and during the colonial era than afterwards.

    Arguing about who was indigenous, who arrived first, who has more historical right, what was done to whom by the British, etc is ultimately both irrelevant and pointless.

    Pointless indeed, yet the refusal to grant Tamils any degree of political autonomy – where the administration of Northern and Eastern Provinces is concerned – is based on the Sinhalese belief that the Sinhalese are the owners of the island, as per Mahavamsa. This is the history that is taught in schools.

    But that doesn’t mean that only a federal solution will work in SL.

    If you believe colonization will work, you are certainly entitled to your belief. Israel is trying the same thing with its settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Eventually, the Jewish population there will outnumber the Muslim population by large enough numbers, so that Jewish politicians control the city and give preference to Jewish affairs. Whether that process takes 25,50, or 100 years does not bother the Jews; the point is that it will happen. It looks as if GOSL is eager to try a similar thing in the North. I question whether it will work – colonization is an expensive proposition. The Jewish settlers, in addition to being resourceful, are already fairly wealthy, and have plenty of financial support. Whereas the SL settlers can probably expect the same treatment (from GOSL) meted out to housemaids in the Gulf nations.

    • “Unfortunately Singapore is more democratic than SL.”

      Really, Heshan? Singapore has had a single party in power since independence, and one man on the throne the entire time, only giving way so that his son can replace him. If you wish to call that democracy, you may, but I think most sane people wouldn’t. If all that was required to be democratic was to call yourself democratic, then SL, the former DDR, and many others qualify 100% 😀

      “Is that why J.R. Jayawardene was hell bent on turning on SL into the next Singapore?”

      Aside from the fact that JRJ was wrong about many things, including the executive presidency, and was the architect of many of the problems that have in fact held SL back as a nation, “turning SL into the next Singapore” doesn’t mean turning SL into Singapore 😀 It means gaining the advantages and strengths of Singapore. Both Beirut and Saigon were once called the Paris of the Middle East and the Far East respectively. But they were both nothing like Paris. It is this stupid repetition by rote of all convenient cliches in place of any intelligent discourse that makes your so-called arguments as strong as a UNP attack on parliament.

      “This has happened within a framework of the attempt by the J.R. Jayawardene regime to create a one party system similar to Singapore’s Lee Kwan Yew model”

      Tell me, Heshan, is this one-party system your example of how Singapore is democratic, or the liberal government model you insist SL must have? 😀

      “What is undeniable is that the various ethnic groups were living more peacefully before and during the colonial era than afterwards.”

      Professori, the colonial era lasted several centuries, and the pre-colonial era several millennia; our ethnic conflict has spanned only thirty years, or at most sixty. A mere blink in the eye of history. If SL’s current troubles were to last a century or more, your argument might warrant some attention.

      “Pointless indeed, yet the refusal to grant Tamils any degree of political autonomy – where the administration of Northern and Eastern Provinces is concerned”

      Political autonomy has been on the table since 1987, in the form of the 13th Amendment. It was the LTTE’s refusal to accept this, and their continued violence that prevented its implementation in the North as it has been implemented in the Eastern and other provinces.

      “If you believe colonization will work, you are certainly entitled to your belief.”

      Me? 😀 Isn’t it you that just said that things were better under colonisation? And wasn’t you that said in another thread that colonisation had great benefits that far outreached the disadvantages?

      “Israel is trying the same thing with its settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

      Israel does many things that are both unfair, illegal, and immoral, but they are able to get away with this because of the US’ slavish patronage. Remove the latter, and Israel will have to fend for itself like any other nation, and will have to give up its racist national and political identity.

    • wijayapala

      Prof Heshan

      We also saw pretty clearly why Singapore is not a viable model for SL
      Is that why J.R. Jayawardene was hell bent on turning on SL into the next Singapore?

      Your answer was brilliant- you knew that JR was the most undemocratic leader in SL history, establishing the Executive Presidency and abrogating the 1983 general elections, not to mention declaring war against the Tamils, and you turned that logic on Blacker. How can anyone outsmart your Anglican wits.

      This raises the question though why you are so anti-Tamil to be a JR supporter.

  • Heshan

    Singapore has had a single party in power since independence, and one man on the throne the entire time, only giving way so that his son can replace him. If you wish to call that democracy, you may, but I think most sane people wouldn’t.

    Elections are only one aspect of a democracy, Blacker. Furthermore, there are different types of democracies.

    ——-

    “Responding to a question on whether Singapore is a democracy or a dictatorship, SM Goh said that Singapore is a democracy , but ‘not a liberal democracy like in Britain or in the US’.”

    http://www.yawningbread.org/arch_2005/yax-425.htm

    In case your wondering who Goh is, he’s a minister in the Singaporean Government. Should we trust your judgment over Goh’s, Blacker? If yes, do give your reasons.

    Aside from the fact that JRJ was wrong about many things, including the executive presidency…

    JR was also correct about many things, such as pursuing a neo-liberal economic policy. Also, JRJ did not abuse the Executive Presidency the way that CBK and MR have done.

    “turning SL into the next Singapore” doesn’t mean turning SL into Singapore 😀 It means gaining the advantages and strengths of Singapore.

    No, it means becoming an economic powerhouse like Singapore, via the pursuing of neo-liberal economic policies (such as Singapore adapted) and a one-party system. In that sense, the resemblance to Singapore is clear. Also, you kept saying (in the other thread) that SL can never overtake Singapore. Whether its true or not, the majority of Sri Lankans don’t agree with you:

    —–

    Capable of beating Singapore and Dubai

    Chairman of Master Divers, and a national-minded son of the South, Ariyaseela Wickremanayake said that most people and so-called ‘experts’ laughed at him when he suggested a port in Hambantota, a few decades back.

    “With the vast potential from aviation to navigation and from cargo transportation to logistics, Sri Lanka will become a giant transshipment hub where big ships coming to Asia will call in. Malacca Strait which is a mere 15 metres deep, is very shallow and rocky and so stands to loose its significance in time to come.”

    Asked whether Sri Lanka had the capability of beating Singapore and Fujairah, he said the former was one of the poorest countries in Asia fifty to sixty years back.

    “With two and a half millennia of written history and civilisation we will certainly have a higher leverage and better growth prospects than Singapore or Dubai.

    http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2010/11/21/sri-lanka-can-be-hub-east-once-again

    is this one-party system your example of how Singapore is democratic

    I’ve already answered this.

    the colonial era lasted several centuries

    And the civil war broke out less than 50 years after the British left, whereas there was no such civil war in SL during the colonial period. It just shows the extent of the feudal mentality prevailing among the larger segment of Sinhala-Buddhists, as Kusal has brilliantly illustrated in his article.

    Political autonomy has been on the table since 1987, in the form of the 13th Amendment. It was the LTTE’s refusal to accept this

    The 13th Amendment was forced upon SL by the Indians. The LTTE is gone now, and Rajapakse has the capability to get any piece of legislation passed through the Parliament, if the removal of term limits and the scrapping of the CC’s is any indication. What’s your excuse now, Blacker? 🙂

    Isn’t it you that just said that things were better under colonisation?

    Indeed, things were better under colonization, but not barbed wire colonization. Where were the internment camps, secret prisons, and high security zones during the colonial period?

    Israel does many things that are both unfair, illegal, and immoral, but they are able to get away with this because of the US’ slavish patronage. Remove the latter, and Israel will have to fend for itself like any other nation,

    Israel will survive no matter what. The Jews are probably the most intelligent people on the planet. The Jews also have something called the “survival instinct” which you can read all about in Nietzsche’s “Anti-Christ.” The relationship that Israel enjoys with the USA is beneficial to both parties, but it’s not a pre-condition for the survival of either one.

    • “Elections are only one aspect of a democracy, Blacker. Furthermore, there are different types of democracies.”

      No doubt, but the ability of the population to choose their government is the main aspect 😉 Without it, the rest is just a sham.

      “In case your wondering who Goh is, he’s a minister in the Singaporean Government. Should we trust your judgment over Goh’s, Blacker? If yes, do give your reasons.”

      The main reason is that I am not a minister in the Singaporean government. If I was, I’d insist that it was a democracy too 😀 Using the word of the accused as proof of innocence is flawed logic, or rather “Heshan logic”, which we’ve seen a lot of on this blog ha ha.

      “JR was also correct about many things, such as pursuing a neo-liberal economic policy. Also, JRJ did not abuse the Executive Presidency the way that CBK and MR have done.”

      So since he was wrong about some things and right about some things, using him as a reference point is rather hit and miss. Also, coming up with a system that is so open to abuse (in your opinion, not mine), and depends solely on the goodwill of the individual, is a pretty flawed system. More reason why we shouldn’t take JRJ’s word on anything, least of all democracy.

      “No, it means becoming an economic powerhouse like Singapore, via the pursuing of neo-liberal economic policies (such as Singapore adapted) and a one-party system.”

      There are many ways to become an economic powerhouse, without having to be like Singapore. Also, are you suggesting that MR should incorporate a one-party system? 😉 We’ve been through all this before, Heshan. You gave up on that thread, and now are rehashing the same tired old nonsense.

      “Also, you kept saying (in the other thread) that SL can never overtake Singapore.”

      I never said that. Try not to lie; it’s a very bad witness as a Christian. I said that SL would not be like Singapore. We understand your grasp of English comprehension is tenuous at best, but is it necessary to advertise it?

      “I’ve already answered this.”

      No, you haven’t. You just change the subject 😀 I asked you whether a one-party system is a sign of the democracy and liberal government you espouse for SL?

      “And the civil war broke out less than 50 years after the British left, whereas there was no such civil war in SL during the colonial period.”

      There were many other wars and rebellions which the colonials put down brutally, and there were many wars in SL prior to the colonial era. Are you unaware of SL history?

      “The 13th Amendment was forced upon SL by the Indians. The LTTE is gone now, and Rajapakse has the capability to get any piece of legislation passed through the Parliament, if the removal of term limits and the scrapping of the CC’s is any indication.”

      Excuse for what? It was the LTTE that rejected the 13th Amendment. Whether it came from India or Timbuktoo is immaterial if it’s a practical system, and it has been practically implemented everywhere but the North, including the East.

      “Indeed, things were better under colonization, but not barbed wire colonization. Where were the internment camps, secret prisons, and high security zones during the colonial period?”

      There were plenty of prisons, military camps, massacres, executions, and other things under the British. Do have a read 🙂

      “Israel will survive no matter what.”

      Your blind faith is very sweet, but without the US on the Security Council, the huge military loans, the sharing of nuclear secrets, etc, Israel would have been history a long time ago. It is still the American support for Israel, in spite of the immoral and illegal activities you yourself have pointed out, that ensures the the Middle East’s instability.

  • The Mervyn Silva

    The Heshan and the Blacker,

    Your exchanges are reminding me of little story in our mothersland, about the two deaf peoples. One deaf man going for the bath with the bucket and meeting another deaf man.

    Bucketless man: ah machan, you are going for the bath?

    Bucket man: no machan, just going for the bath.

    Bucketless man: Oh I am thinking you are going for the bath!

  • Heshan

    No doubt, but the ability of the population to choose their government is the main aspect 😉 Without it, the rest is just a sham.

    Since you keep pursuing this, I looked it up and it seems you are wrong (surprise, surprise). Lee Kuan Yew is not the Prime Minister of Singapore anymore. There have been Prime Ministers other than Lee Kuan Yew and his son (despite what you claim here), for no less than 14 years. Furthermore, Singapore also has a President, who is elected by Parliament, and an Opposition Party.

    ——-

    “Lee Kuan Yew was the first prime minister from 1959 to 1990 and retired on 26 November 1990. Lee was succeeded by Goh Chok Tong and was conferred the title of Senior Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office. Goh retired on 12 August 2004 and was succeeded by Lee Kuan Yew’s son Lee Hsien Loong. Goh was appointed Senior Minister, and the elder Lee Minister Mentor.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_Singapore

    ——–

    The President of the Republic of Singapore is Singapore’s head of state. In a Westminster parliamentary system, which Singapore possesses, the prime minister is the head of the government while the position of president is largely ceremonial. Before 1993, the President of Singapore was chosen by Parliament. Following amendments to the constitution enacted in 1991, the Presidency became a popularly-elected office. The first President elected by the people was Ong Teng Cheong, who served from 1 September 1993 to 31 August 1999. The current President of Singapore is Sellapan Ramanathan (S.R. Nathan), who first became head of state in 18 August 1999 and is presently serving his second term of office.

    The President of the Republic of Singapore is a ceremonial head of state broadly analogous to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom, but the 1991 constitutional amendments gave the President certain reserve powers over government expenditure of financial reserves and appointments to key public offices. The President’s official residence is the Istana.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_Singapore

    So, Singapore has a popularly elected Tamil President! Didn’t I say Singapore is more of a democracy than SL?

    Singapore also has a list of deputy prime ministers none of whom are related to Lee Kuan Yew.

    One of the Opposition Parties in Singapore is known as the “The Singapore Democratic Party” (abbrev: SDP; Chinese: ??????; Tamil: ??????????? ??????????; Malay: Parti Demokratik Singapura) is a political party in Singapore. The SDP was constituted in 1980 and it is the first opposition party in Singapore to have a youth wing, Young Democrats, and to deploy podcast as a media. It is also the first opposition party in Singapore to utilise blogging, political video and Internet forum to reach out to the people.[citation needed] The party is a member of Liberal International and the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_Democratic_Party

    Since you assume Singapore is a dictatorship, can you tell me the number of officially recognized (e.g. sits in the Parliament) opposition parties in China, Cuba, and North Korea? That’s right, zero .

    The main reason is that I am not a minister in the Singaporean government. If I was, I’d insist that it was a democracy too

    It’s officially a democracy. The official designation is non-disputable. Even I would have to admit that SL is officially a democracy, though the actual ground situation says otherwise.

    So since he was wrong about some things and right about some things, using him as a reference point is rather hit and miss. Also, coming up with a system that is so open to abuse (in your opinion, not mine), and depends solely on the goodwill of the individual, is a pretty flawed system.

    JRJ is greatly misunderstood. Though people remember him as a nationalist, he was a great friend of the USA (compare him with the JVP or NFF or Hela Urumaya people), who actually wanted to give autonomy to the Tamils, but the lacked popular support to do so. I have already mentioned his neo-liberal economic policies. The steady economic growth that SL has seen every year, despite the civil war, is due to JRJ. Of course, JRJ took the wrong approach to race relations, but this is probably due to the times. Just like Prabhakaran, JRJ would have done well in a different time under different circumstances.

    I never said that.

    I cannot find the thread, but I’m quite sure you said it. You, did, however say SL should try to be like Malaysia. Malaysia, if you’re unaware of it, is far behind Singapore.

    There are many ways to become an economic powerhouse, without having to be like Singapore.

    You miss the point yet again – JRJ wanted to model the SL economy after Singapore’s. In addition to the neo-liberal economic policies implemented by JRJ, the Sri Lankan I quoted in my last post actually thinks the Hambantota Port can overtake the Port of Singapore; if this were the case, shipping would generate major revenue for SL, similar to the way it does for Singapore. Still don’t see the similarity, Blacker? Even the clown in the red scarf sees it, although I’ll be surprised if much more than Chinese warships and monks on canoes dock at his Hambantota Port, given his inability to generate foreign investment.

    Also, are you suggesting that MR should incorporate a one-party system? 😉

    You were the same one insisting in the other thread that Sri Lankans prefer a strongman.


    We’ve been through all this before, Heshan. You gave up on that thread

    I did not give up on that thread; Groundviews insisted that we take the discussion elsewhere.

    There were many other wars and rebellions which the colonials put down brutally, and there were many wars in SL prior to the colonial era.

    Can you name these wars which are specific to SL, that the colonials put down brutally? My point is that the ethnic tension you see today simply wasn’t there during colonial times.

    Excuse for what? It was the LTTE that rejected the 13th Amendment.

    Once again, the LTTE is gone… the LTTE will never come back. There is NO LTTE. So where is the political solution? What is preventing it? The Tamil diaspora? LOL. I think Belle has already answered that last point well; SL should stop looking for foreign scapegoats and take responsibility for its own actions. Ever worked for a company, Blacker? They give you a fixed budget and a time-frame to design and implement a project. If you fail, you’re FIRED. You can blame every expat Tamil, but the company is not going to care.

    • Belle

      Singapore is a mixed experiment in democracy. In the early days, the ruling party did restrain opposition politics–opposition politicians would inexplicably lose their jobs. But it has liberalized in the past two decades. In the last elections in 2006, for the first time, the PAP was not returned to power on nomination day itself as opposition parties contested more than half of the 84 seats. Singapore liberals celebrated because now there was a real chance for representing opposition perspectives. The PAP-ruled media could not control the situation as the Internet took over. Opposition party rallies were far better attended than PAP rallies. Yet in the end, despite a clean and professionalized voting system, only 2 opposition members got voted into Parliament. The next election (possibly this year) should be very interesting as the opposition is maturing and has attracted some stars–and they no longer lose their jobs. So I don’t think people can any longer cite its one-party rule as sign of its lack of democracy. Singaporeans simply like the party for its dedication and successful record.

      But what is more commendable about democracy in Singapore is that minority interests and rights have always been taken seriously. Minorities are not expected to prove that they deserve full rights–it is a given that they are equal citizens, and equal rights is part of the National Pledge that is said every day at school assemblies. Sri Lanka can learn a lot from Singapore in this respect. The minorities are more than fully represented in Parliament and in the Cabinet (more than their proportion of the national population). Parliament can’t easily pass laws that hurt minority interests because they have to get past a Presidential Council for Minority Rights. Race and religion based associations give feedback to the government on any problems. Singapore’s Civil Service is an equal opportunities employer and minorities are in prominent positions there. The joke around here is that even our gangs are multiracial.

      And, yes, Singapore has had Prime Ministers that are not associated with Lee Kuan Yew, such as Goh Chok Tong. The next Prime Minister will definitely not be from the Lee family, though I don’t know when Lee Hsien Loong, the son, will retire as PM. The third generation of the Lee family does not appear to be groomed for politics–they are mostly in the arts areas whereas in Singapore, politicians come from the sciences, technology and economics/finance areas.

      It should be said too that Lee Hsien Loong did not become PM only because he was LKY’s son–he had to earn his stripes to enter politics. He had the academic qualifications to be top dog at the ruling party, which is very selective about the academic quality of its candidates. He was a President’s Scholar (based on academic performance, and like many others in the Cabinet, including the next PM), had First Class Honours in Mathematics (like his father before him, in law)at Cambridge and later obtained a Masters in Public Administration at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He rose through the ranks in the army to become Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces (prior to entering politics), and did an exceptional job heading the operation to rescue people trapped in cable cars in a 1983 accident. He was a very capable Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Minister of Trade and Industry before becoming PM. Very different from the easy ride Namal Rajapaksa got into politics.

      Singapore’s political culture is very different from other countries, based on technocracy. It is quite pioneering in governance. It may be dominated by a single party but that party has worked out a system to attract the very best talent. It is also very exacting–a hint of corruption or incompetence and you are out, even if you are family.

      • Belle, I think most of what I’ve said to Heshan applies to you too. Singapore is what it is today not because LKY practiced a liberal democracy, but because he clamped down on civil rights and did what he thought was necessary without interference.

        On the face of it, it seems as if all races are devoid of rights in equal measure but that’s not quite true. As I said to Heshan, the Chinese are more privileged than other races.

        I’ve also pointed out to you that Singapore’s meritocracy is being diluted year on year by an underlying racism. You say that minorities don’t have to prove their elligibility for equal rights, but Dr Michael D Barr had this to say in The Charade of Meritocracy“The absence of Malays from the SAFOS scholarships and their near-absence from the SAF Merit Scholarships deserves special mention because this is an extension of discrimination against the admission of Malays into senior and sensitive positions in the SAF that is officially sanctioned. The discrimination against Malays has been discussed in parliament and the media, and is justified by the assertion that the loyalty of Malays cannot be assumed, both because they are Muslim and because they have a racial and ethnic affinity with the Malays in Malaysia and Indonesia. Current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has historically been a vocal defender of this policy.”

        There is a fallacy in only picking the positive aspects of examples that suit our agendas and ignoring reality.

    • Heshan, “Since you keep pursuing this, I looked it up and it seems you are wrong (surprise, surprise). Lee Kuan Yew is not the Prime Minister of Singapore anymore.”

      It’s you that keeps bringing Singapore up, no doubt because you blindly buy into things that suit your agenda, regardless of how stupid they are. In spite of the fact that it has been conclusively pointed out to you by myself, Rajivmw, Wijayapala, and now even Belle, that Singapore is geographically, demographically, culturally, politically, and historically completely different to SL (and in fact almost every other country in the world), you keep buggering on at this like a child stamping its foot. Even your own examples of why Singapore is the ideal model are self-contradictory. On one hand you insist that SL must have liberal democracy, but point to Singapore which has never had that. You point to Singapore as the perfect model, but cannot find a single other nation that has successfully followed that model. You suggest that an autocratic leader such as LKY is desirable, but criticise the extension of MR’s term. [Edited out.]

      As Belle points out, even though there have been other PMs in Singapore, the point is that LKY or his extended family, or those loyal to him, have controlled the country for most of its post-independence history, and if there’s any move towards true democracy, it’s very recent. And yet, you insist that SL have all the aspects of a liberal democracy immediately. The fact is, LKY would never have been able to do what he’s done with his little island if he had to toe the democratic line.

      “Furthermore, Singapore also has a President, who is elected by Parliament, and an Opposition Party.”

      Lol pointing out that officials are elected by parliament and not the people doesn’t prove your case for democracy. Neither does the fact that the only high official elected by popular vote is the ceremonial president. None of Singapore’s PM’s are elected. Zimbabwe has a opposition party too btw 😀 I’m sure Mugabe must be chuffed that you think his country’s democratic!

      “So, Singapore has a popularly elected Tamil President! Didn’t I say Singapore is more of a democracy than SL?”

      A popularly elected president who is ceremonial 😉 On the other hand, there are amost no Malay or Indian high officials, just Chinese. In Dr Michael D Barr’s The Charade of Meritocracy, he points out that 60% of the Singaporean economy isn’t controlled by democratically elected officials, but by administrators piped in through the government’s bonded scholarship programme, and almost all of them are Chinese, and many are serving military officers who are outside of any semblance of democratic process. Similarly, non-Chinese are barred from serving in the military’s armoured and airborne units, as well as the fighter squadrons. Barr goes on to say in Constructing Singapore: Elitism, Ethnicity and the Nation-Building Project, a collaboration with Zlatko Skrbiš, In fact, Singapore’s system of promotion disguises and even facilitates tremendous biases against women, the poor and non-Chinese. Singapore’s administrative and its political elites—especially the younger ones who have come through school in the last 20 or so years—are not the cream of Singapore’s talent as they claim, but are merely a dominant social class, resting on systemic biases to perpetuate regime regeneration based on gender, class and race. According to research conducted in the last decade by Ross-Worthington, of the top 30 Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) only two (6.7%) were chaired by non-Chinese in 1991 (and neither of the non-Chinese was a Malay). This trend has only worsened since then according to Ross-Worthington which said, of the 38 people who were represented on the most GLC boards in 1998, only two (5.3%) were non-Chinese (and neither of the non-Chinese was a Malay). Research shows similar racist trends when it comes to education (the prestigious President’s scholarship has been awarded to only 14 non-Chinese between 1966 and 2005, a paltry 6.4%), and the military (the MoD’s SAF Overseas Scholarship winners are 98% Chinese, and of the remaining 2%, only one individual was a Muslim). I could go on, but you can read ’em for yourself here in the Far Eastern Economic Review: http://www.feer.com/articles1/2006/0610/free/p018.html Not exactly the democratic and ethnically unbiased utopia you make it out to be, is it, Heshan?

      “Since you assume Singapore is a dictatorship, can you tell me the number of officially recognized (e.g. sits in the Parliament) opposition parties in China, Cuba, and North Korea? That’s right, zero .”

      Firstly, I didn’t say it was necessarily a dictatorship, just that it wasn’t a democracy; many organisations such as mercantile companies, the military, etc, are not dictatorships either, but neither are they democracies. There’s nothing wrong with being that way, but one doesn’t use these organisations as examples of liberal democratic governance. Secondly, as I told you before, an opposition isn’t proof of democracy; Mugabe’s Zimbabwe has, and Hitler’s Germany had, oppositions. Democracy isn’t in having its trappings, ie a parliament, a president, MPs, etc, but in the workings of it.

      “It’s officially a democracy. The official designation is non-disputable. Even I would have to admit that SL is officially a democracy, though the actual ground situation says otherwise.”

      So you agree that calling a country the Deutsche Democratic Republic, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or any other official mumbo jumbo doesn’t make it democratic anymore than calling one the Kingdom of Belgium makes it a dictatorship? I’m glad you finally understand. It’s about time.

      “JRJ is greatly misunderstood. Though people remember him as a nationalist, he was a great friend of the USA”

      Being a buddy of the US may be all the qualifications someone needs to be declared a statesman by you 😀 but it doesn’t cut much ice with anyone else. Unfortunately for JRJ, his “great friend” left his arse in a crack in ’87 when big brother next door came knocking, just as they did to the Dalai Lama in ’75 when China turned on the heat.

      “who actually wanted to give autonomy to the Tamils, but the lacked popular support to do so.”

      Really? Can you provide any evidence of these wants of JRJ’s?

      “The steady economic growth that SL has seen every year, despite the civil war, is due to JRJ.”

      Actually it was first Premadasa’s and then RW’s adaptation of JRJ’s policies. So other than the latter’s economic policies, you agree he was repressive in every other way; continuing oppression of the Tamils, giving himself dictatorial powers (again, your words not mine)?

      “Of course, JRJ took the wrong approach to race relations, but this is probably due to the times. “

      So you contend that the unfair and racist policies that the Tamils suffered under were relatively normal for the times and not the personal initiative of the Sinhalese leadership?

      “I cannot find the thread, but I’m quite sure you said it. You, did, however say SL should try to be like Malaysia. Malaysia, if you’re unaware of it, is far behind Singapore.”

      😀 You conveniently seem constantly unable to find evidence for your nonsense, Heshan. And I never said SL should be like Malaysia either. I said it’s more likely that we’ll be like the latter. If Malaysia is less economically powerful than Singapore, it’s because it has a far larger and more diverse society than Singapore, and in particular a large agrarian population, like SL. It doesn’t have the luxury of being a tiny urban society which has no say in the economic policies and actions of its government; eg Singapore’s policy of importing English-speaking foreigners to fill specialist jobs that the locals are unqualified for will not work in SL or Malaysia, where administrations will be under pressure to fill those jobs from their electorates. Finally, governments are required to provide the policies that will ensure their people are happy, not take part in dick-measuring competitions with their neighbours. As a society, Malaysia’s is at least as successful as Singapore’s.

      “You miss the point yet again – JRJ wanted to model the SL economy after Singapore’s.”

      The open economy wasn’t invented by LKY, Heshan. What you don’t understand, is that many Asian nations have adapted these economic policies and been successful with them — India, Malaysia, Singapore — and all that is required of SL on the economic front is to adapt such policies to suit our own unique requirements. The blind belief that simply aping Singapore is the answer is just stupid.

      “the Sri Lankan I quoted in my last post actually thinks the Hambantota Port can overtake the Port of Singapore; if this were the case, shipping would generate major revenue for SL, similar to the way it does for Singapore. Still don’t see the similarity, Blacker?”

      Even if Hambantota overtakes Singapore as a harbour and generates revenue for SL, having a similar revenue generator won’t make us Singapore 😀 The latter is basically a single port city; Hambantota would have to generate ten times as much revenue for us to have a similar benefit. Even for just Hambantota to benefit, it would have to be a closed city — like Hong Kong — if it isn’t to be swamped by the rural poor as all successful 3rd world cities are. Do you still not have the gumption, after all these weeks of my tutoring you, to grasp the existant differences between the two countries?

      “You were the same one insisting in the other thread that Sri Lankans prefer a strongman.”

      They do. I’m asking you if you’re in agreement with this preference for a Singapore-inspired strongman?

      “I did not give up on that thread; Groundviews insisted that we take the discussion elsewhere.”

      Apparently you didn’t get the hint, since you’ve brought up the Singapore nonsense again.

      “Can you name these wars which are specific to SL, that the colonials put down brutally? My point is that the ethnic tension you see today simply wasn’t there during colonial times.”

      Are you seriously telling me you’re ignorant of SL history? 😀 Ethnic tensions weren’t just between the Brits and locals, but earlier colonists were at odds with the locals too. For instance, in 1766 the Dutch had forced the Kandyans to sign a treaty, which the Kandyans later considered so harsh that they immediately began searching for foreign assistance in expelling their foes (http://www.lankalibrary.com/geo/British/history4.htm). The same source goes on to say the British aggressively expanded their territorial possessions by a combination of annexation and intervention, a policy that paralleled the approach pursued by Lord Wellesley in India in the early nineteenth century. This strategy directly threatened the continued existence of the Kingdom of Kandy. Unrest at the Kandyan court between a ruling dynasty of alien, southern Indian antecedents and powerful, indigenous Sinhalese chieftains provided opportunities for British interference. Still deny that there was ethnic tension? These tensions led to the First Kandyan War in 1803. In less than a decade there was further tension and violence: The king had antagonized local Sinhalese chiefs and further alienated the Sinhalese people by actions against Buddhist monks and temple property. In 1815, the Kandyan rebels invited the British to intervene. The Brits used this opportunity to capture Kandy. The popular and widespread rebellion that followed was suppressed with great severity in 1818. In 1848, punitive taxes, six days of forced labour per man, and the acquiring of temple property for plantations sparked the Second Kandyan War. The above source says British troops so severely repressed a rebellion that broke out among the Kandyans in 1848 that the House of Commons in London commissioned an investigation to look into the matter. The governor and his chief secretary were subsequently dismissed, and all new taxes, except the road ordinance, were repealed. Still think it was all tiffin and tea parties under the Brits? Here’s a last example; I suggest you educate yourself from now on: In 1915 communal rioting broke out between the Sinhalese and Muslims on the west coast. The British panicked, misconstruing the disturbances as part of an antigovernment conspiracy; they blamed the majority ethnic group and indiscriminately arrested many Sinhalese, including D.S. Senanayake–the future first prime minister of Sri Lanka–who had actually tried to use his influence to curb the riots. The British put down the unrest with excessive zeal and brutality, which shocked British and Sri Lankan observers alike. Let’s not even get into pre-colonial history which is full of wars between the locals as well as against the Indians.

      “Once again, the LTTE is gone… the LTTE will never come back. There is NO LTTE. So where is the political solution.”

      I already told you; the 13th is the basis for any solution. It’s the implementation that is needed in the north. As I’ve already told you, it took four years before West Germany returned to civil law. Be patient. For now, security and development is the urgent need.

      “Ever worked for a company, Blacker? They give you a fixed budget and a time-frame to design and implement a project. If you fail, you’re FIRED.”

      But the shareholders in this company (the SL citizens) haven’t set any deadlines. It’s just you outsiders who are such eager beavers.

    • wijayapala

      Prof Heshan

      Though people remember him as a nationalist, he was a great friend of the USA…who actually wanted to give autonomy to the Tamils, but the lacked popular support to do so.

      Three questions:

      1) What evidence do you have that JR wanted to give autonomy to the Tamils? The same JR who led a procession to Kandy to protest the Banda-Chelva Pact? The same JR who tried (and failed) for “Sinhala-Only” language policy in 1944?

      2) What help did USA give JR to stop the Tamil militancy?

      3) How many Tamils did JR kill, compared to JVP, NFF, Hela Urumaya etc?

    • JonathanMiller

      Re-Heshan

      S. R. Nathan is not popularly elected. He was handpicked by Yew and no one was allowed to run against him.

      [quote]
      Although a Straits Times survey showed that nearly 80 per cent of Singaporeans hoped for a contest, Nathan nonetheless took up office unopposed as President on August 18, 1999. His nomination was strongly supported by Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew. He succeeded the fifth President of Singapore, Ong Teng Cheong, and was sworn in on September 1, 1999.

      On July 12, 2005, Nathan announced that he was seeking re-election as President. He submitted an eligibility application to the Presidential Elections Committee; by August 6, 2005, three more people had also submitted forms, but on August 13, 2005, the Committee announced that the other three applicants had been rejected as ineligible. Nathan returned unopposed on nomination day, August 17, 2005. He was sworn in for a second term of office on September 1, 2005.[/quote]

      The presidency is also purely ceremonial. He only has marginal power if anything.


      Regarding Goh Chok Tong as prime minister– he’s from the same party as Lee Kuan Yew and Yew continued to serve in a major senior position on cabinet. I don’t know about the exact dealings of the Singaporean government behind closed doors but this looks like a Putin situation if anything to me.

  • Heshan

    Typo: *(e.g. seats in the Parliament)

  • Heshan

    Dear The Mervyn Silva,

    Chinese bath or Indian bath? Now we are importing Indian eggs; soon we’ll have to import water for the bath!

  • Heshan

    Blacker again,

    Your blind faith is very sweet, but without the US on the Security Council, the huge military loans, the sharing of nuclear secrets, etc, Israel would have been history a long time ago.

    Clearly you have not heard of the Six-Day war then. Also, if the Jews could survive persecution by Romans, Egyptians, Assyrians, the Catholic Church, Cossacks, Russians, and of course the Germans, they can survive anything the Arabs come up. The Iranians lack the know-how to even make an atom bomb. Meanwhile…

    —-

    Given that Jews comprise a mere 1/4 of 1% (13 million) of the world’s population (6 billion) and that 99% of the world is non-Jewish, the following list of accomplishments by Jews is quite impressive.

    Of the 660 Nobel prizes from 1901-1990, 160 have been won by Jews. Jews have won more Nobel prizes than any other ethnicity. They have won 40 times more than should be expected of them based upon population statistics.

    http://www.larouche-pac.net/node/17037


    It is still the American support for Israel, in spite of the immoral and illegal activities you yourself have pointed out, that ensures the the Middle East’s instability.

    Nope, it’s actually Islamic fundamentalism. A long time ago, I said that the hypocrisy of the Arabs would be exposed when a substitute for oil is found… their economies (save perhaps, Dubai) will come crashing down overnight – without the welfare money – and they’ll go back to wandering in the desert, molesting camels and eating lamb. I hope I live to see that day, it will be glorious indeed. 🙂

    • Heshan “Clearly you have not heard of the Six-Day war then.”

      Yes, I vaguely remember that. How long ago was that; 40 years? In recent years, the Israel that fly halfway across Africa to rescue a planeload of hostages can’t rescue two soldiers from nextdoor Lebanon or stop Palestinians firing rockets from Gaza. After the disastrous last invasion of Lebanon (those two soldiers are still out there somewhere), the Israeli Army chief was sacked. Mere hours after Israel withdrew from their last major Gaza incursion, the Palestinians resumed firing rockets into Israel. The Israel of today is not the Israel of the Six Day War or Entebbe; today, they are soft, divided, corrupt, dependent on the US for survival. Young Israelis question conscription, they can only remain safe from the Palestinians by barricading their nation and holding it as a vassal state, their political leadership is constantly under seige for various scandals, including war crimes and serious sexual offences.

      “Also, if the Jews could survive persecution by Romans, Egyptians, Assyrians blah blah”

      The Jews didn’t survive these persecutions as an intact nation. For two millennia, they were a dispersed race. For the most part, they still are. I have no doubt that the Jews will continue to live and prosper all over the world, but whether Israel could survive as a race-based nation today without the US prop is as unlikely as that of Apartheid South Africa.

      “The Iranians lack the know-how to even make an atom bomb.”

      Lol I think there were idiots who said that about Iraq too.

      “Given that Jews comprise a mere 1/4 of 1% (13 million) of the world’s population blah blah”

      But we are not talking about the Jews, Heshan, we are talking about the Israelis, who except for the field of warfare, haven’t really contributed much to the world.

      “Nope, it’s actually Islamic fundamentalism.

      Ha ha another of Colbert’s truthisms that you buy into. The fact is Islamic fundamentalism is a relatively recent arrival in the Middle East, and entered the conflict only in the ’80s, when Iran and Libya began to export it. Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq — the countries that actually went to war with Israel — were never fundamentally Islamic, nor were the Palestinian terrorists until the mid-’80s. Instability in the Middle East, however, began decades before this, with the creation of Israel.

      Israel itself has every right to exist, but so does Palestine, but no nation has the right to exist as an exclusive racial entity. If Israel cannot allow Palestine to exist as a fully-fledged nation within the UN-mandated ’48 borders, then they must integrate into one Judeo-Arab country where all races and religions are equal. Most progressive Palestinians and Israelis believe this will in fact eventually happen.

      “A long time ago, I said that the hypocrisy of the Arabs would be exposed when a substitute for oil is found”

      Well, they’ll be OK as long as the US keeps manufacturing those gas-guzzling barges they call cars 😀

      “and they’ll go back to wandering in the desert, molesting camels and eating lamb. I hope I live to see that day, it will be glorious indeed.”

      Are these sentiments characteristic of the Christian values and liberal respect for all races that you suggest you Sinhalese should have?

  • TT

    Heshan,

    How about a federal model where there will be 3 states in SL? One will be the northern, north central and north western provinces. The second will be the combination of the eastern province, southern province and the uva province. Third one being the western province, central province and the sabaragamuwa province. It achieves ALL good things of federalism but no racism (unlike in India). OBVIOUSLY Australia, USA are better federal models than India! We come closer to that with 3 states and not 8 or 9 states demarcated based on race.

  • wijayapala

    Prof Heshan proclaims:

    JRJ is greatly misunderstood…Of course, JRJ took the wrong approach to race relations, but this is probably due to the times.

    I couldn’t have said it better myself! LOL

  • Heshan

    TT,

    I don’t know much about the differences between Indian federalism/US federalism/Australian federalism/etc, so I’m not in a position to comment in that regard. However, I do know that Indian federalism has helped each state in India to develop at its own pace. While this has led to uneven economic development across a broad spectrum of Indian states (e.g. compare Kerala to Bihar), I am not sure what the alternative is. It is not conceivable that you could have uniform economic development in a place like India. So at least in this regard, Indian federalism has been successful.

    Your model of federalism seems good. But I am not sure if it is feasible in the USA, where each separate state is enjoying certain rights. For example, education, policing, and to a certain extent collecting taxes are the prerogative of the state. Today, though, I read an interview in “The Hindu” where Mahinda rejects devolving police powers.

    • “I don’t know much about the differences between Indian federalism/US federalism/Australian federalism/etc”

      Lol but you feel qualified to advocate federalism as a system of governance in SL?

  • Heshan

    Correction: *But I am not sure if it is feasible in SL. In the USA, each separate state is enjoying certain rights.

  • wijayapala

    Dear Kusal Perera and Belle,

    Kindly share how you feel about Prof Heshan’s following statement:

    Of course, JRJ took the wrong approach to race relations, but this is probably due to the times.

    Do you agree with Heshan that the anti-Tamil violence that JR had released was justifiable, because he was pro-USA?

  • TT

    Even in the US police in certain states have been behaving badly, to say the least. It will be worse in SL. But glad you find the 3 states within one nation a good solution. The difference between India’s fedeal model and USA’s or Australia’s oe Malaysia’s federal model is India’s fedeal demarcations are mostly based on racial differences. This is not found in MOST fedeal countries. SL should NOT follow India but should copy Australia, Malaysia or to some extent USA in demarcating fedeal units. That way there will not be Tamil Elam but at the same time power will be devolved to states within the nation. Anyway that is assuming federalism is the best suited model for SL which is NOT the case.

    • MV

      Dear TT,
      I think the idea here is not a Sinhala buddhist hegemony over the entire island, which you seem to defend. It is interesting that even after 30yrs of brutal armed conflict, people seem to have to explain what the Tamil grievances are, don’t you think?

      • TT

        MV,

        I don’t defend anything Sinhala or Buddhist. I defend MULTI-ETHNICITY. If Tamil grievences include living in a Tamil only (or Tamil majority) province, bad luck in this 21st century of global village. If every minority start thinking like this we will have to have Muslim provinces, Malay provinces, Vedda provinces, Chetti provinces, Bharat provinces, Parsi provinces, Burgur provinces, etc. It will be ridiculous!

        As with 30 years of war, let me ask you the same thing. Haven’t you still given up racial enclaves that led to a brutal 30+ years of war in which those who begged, asked and demanded racial enclaves died most?

      • TT

        MV,

        BTW I meant no offence in my response to you. I just wanted to keep it short.

      • TT

        Heshan,

        Interesting!

        Anyway my point is the Australian, Malaysian and to an extent US federal models better suit SL than India. SL cannot have linguistic demarcations. Tamil speakers are scattered around the island. After the end of the war Sinhalese will be around the island too. If at all, SL needs to follow the Australian or malaysian federal model. OBVIOUSLY, Australia and Malaysia are MORE PEACEFUL than India! If SL changes anything for peace, it should go for the best. Sadly most federal countries have very powerful militaries. SL will have to further boost its military if it turns to be a federal country.

  • Heshan, “Since you keep pursuing this, I looked it up and it seems you are wrong (surprise, surprise). Lee Kuan Yew is not the Prime Minister of Singapore anymore.”

    It’s you that keeps bringing Singapore up, no doubt because you blindly buy into things that suit your agenda, regardless of how stupid they are. In spite of the fact that it has been conclusively pointed out to you by myself, Rajivmw, Wijayapala, and now even Belle, that Singapore is geographically, demographically, culturally, politically, and historically completely different to SL (and in fact almost every other country in the world), you keep buggering on at this like a child stamping its foot. Even your own examples of why Singapore is the ideal model are self-contradictory. On one hand you insist that SL must have liberal democracy, but point to Singapore which has never had that. You point to Singapore as the perfect model, but cannot find a single other nation that has successfully followed that model. You suggest that an autocratic leader such as LKY is desirable, but criticise the extension of MR’s term. You’re a joke, Heshan 😀

    As Belle points out, even though there have been other PMs in Singapore, the point is that LKY or his extended family, or those loyal to him, have controlled the country for most of its post-independence history, and if there’s any move towards true democracy, it’s very recent. And yet, you insist that SL have all the aspects of a liberal democracy immediately. The fact is, LKY would never have been able to do what he’s done with his little island if he had to toe the democratic line.

    “Furthermore, Singapore also has a President, who is elected by Parliament, and an Opposition Party.”

    Lol pointing out that officials are elected by parliament and not the people doesn’t prove your case for democracy. Neither does the fact that the only high official elected by popular vote is the ceremonial president. None of Singapore’s PM’s are elected. Zimbabwe has a opposition party too btw 😀 I’m sure Mugabe must be chuffed that you think his country’s democratic!

    “So, Singapore has a popularly elected Tamil President! Didn’t I say Singapore is more of a democracy than SL?”

    A popularly elected president who is ceremonial 😉 On the other hand, there are amost no Malay or Indian high officials, just Chinese. In Dr Michael D Barr’s The Charade of Meritocracy, he points out that 60% of the Singaporean economy isn’t controlled by democratically elected officials, but by administrators piped in through the government’s bonded scholarship programme, and almost all of them are Chinese, and many are serving military officers who are outside of any semblance of democratic process. Similarly, non-Chinese are barred from serving in the military’s armoured and airborne units, as well as the fighter squadrons. Barr goes on to say in Constructing Singapore: Elitism, Ethnicity and the Nation-Building Project, a collaboration with Zlatko Skrbiš, In fact, Singapore’s system of promotion disguises and even facilitates tremendous biases against women, the poor and non-Chinese. Singapore’s administrative and its political elites—especially the younger ones who have come through school in the last 20 or so years—are not the cream of Singapore’s talent as they claim, but are merely a dominant social class, resting on systemic biases to perpetuate regime regeneration based on gender, class and race. According to research conducted in the last decade by Ross-Worthington, of the top 30 Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) only two (6.7%) were chaired by non-Chinese in 1991 (and neither of the non-Chinese was a Malay). This trend has only worsened since then according to Ross-Worthington which said, of the 38 people who were represented on the most GLC boards in 1998, only two (5.3%) were non-Chinese (and neither of the non-Chinese was a Malay). Research shows similar racist trends when it comes to education (the prestigious President’s scholarship has been awarded to only 14 non-Chinese between 1966 and 2005, a paltry 6.4%), and the military (the MoD’s SAF Overseas Scholarship winners are 98% Chinese, and of the remaining 2%, only one individual was a Muslim). I could go on, but you can read ’em for yourself here in the Far Eastern Economic Review: http://www.feer.com/articles1/2006/0610/free/p018.html Not exactly the democratic and ethnically unbiased utopia you make it out to be, is it, Heshan?

    “Since you assume Singapore is a dictatorship, can you tell me the number of officially recognized (e.g. sits in the Parliament) opposition parties in China, Cuba, and North Korea? That’s right, zero .”

    Firstly, I didn’t say it was necessarily a dictatorship, just that it wasn’t a democracy; many organisations such as mercantile companies, the military, etc, are not dictatorships either, but neither are they democracies. There’s nothing wrong with being that way, but one doesn’t use these organisations as examples of liberal democratic governance. Secondly, as I told you before, an opposition isn’t proof of democracy; Mugabe’s Zimbabwe has, and Hitler’s Germany had, oppositions. Democracy isn’t in having its trappings, ie a parliament, a president, MPs, etc, but in the workings of it.

    “It’s officially a democracy. The official designation is non-disputable. Even I would have to admit that SL is officially a democracy, though the actual ground situation says otherwise.”

    So you agree that calling a country the Deutsche Democratic Republic, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or any other official mumbo jumbo doesn’t make it democratic anymore than calling one the Kingdom of Belgium makes it a dictatorship? I’m glad you finally understand. It’s about time.

    “JRJ is greatly misunderstood. Though people remember him as a nationalist, he was a great friend of the USA”

    Being a buddy of the US may be all the qualifications someone needs to be declared a statesman by you 😀 but it doesn’t cut much ice with anyone else. Unfortunately for JRJ, his “great friend” left his arse in a crack in ’87 when big brother next door came knocking, just as they did to the Dalai Lama in ’75 when China turned on the heat.

    “who actually wanted to give autonomy to the Tamils, but the lacked popular support to do so.”

    Really? Can you provide any evidence of these wants of JRJ’s?

    “The steady economic growth that SL has seen every year, despite the civil war, is due to JRJ.”

    Actually it was first Premadasa’s and then RW’s adaptation of JRJ’s policies. So other than the latter’s economic policies, you agree he was repressive in every other way; continuing oppression of the Tamils, giving himself dictatorial powers (again, your words not mine)?

    “Of course, JRJ took the wrong approach to race relations, but this is probably due to the times. “

    So you contend that the unfair and racist policies that the Tamils suffered under were relatively normal for the times and not the personal initiative of the Sinhalese leadership?

    “I cannot find the thread, but I’m quite sure you said it. You, did, however say SL should try to be like Malaysia. Malaysia, if you’re unaware of it, is far behind Singapore.”

    😀 You conveniently seem constantly unable to find evidence for your nonsense, Heshan. And I never said SL should be like Malaysia either. I said it’s more likely that we’ll be like the latter. If Malaysia is less economically powerful than Singapore, it’s because it has a far larger and more diverse society than Singapore, and in particular a large agrarian population, like SL. It doesn’t have the luxury of being a tiny urban society which has no say in the economic policies and actions of its government; eg Singapore’s policy of importing English-speaking foreigners to fill specialist jobs that the locals are unqualified for will not work in SL or Malaysia, where administrations will be under pressure to fill those jobs from their electorates. Finally, governments are required to provide the policies that will ensure their people are happy, not take part in dick-measuring competitions with their neighbours. As a society, Malaysia’s is at least as successful as Singapore’s.

    “You miss the point yet again – JRJ wanted to model the SL economy after Singapore’s.”

    The open economy wasn’t invented by LKY, Heshan. What you don’t understand, is that many Asian nations have adapted these economic policies and been successful with them — India, Malaysia, Singapore — and all that is required of SL on the economic front is to adapt such policies to suit our own unique requirements. The blind belief that simply aping Singapore is the answer is just stupid.

    “the Sri Lankan I quoted in my last post actually thinks the Hambantota Port can overtake the Port of Singapore; if this were the case, shipping would generate major revenue for SL, similar to the way it does for Singapore. Still don’t see the similarity, Blacker?”

    Even if Hambantota overtakes Singapore as a harbour and generates revenue for SL, having a similar revenue generator won’t make us Singapore 😀 The latter is basically a single port city; Hambantota would have to generate ten times as much revenue for us to have a similar benefit. Even for just Hambantota to benefit, it would have to be a closed city — like Hong Kong — if it isn’t to be swamped by the rural poor as all successful 3rd world cities are. Do you still not have the gumption, after all these weeks of my tutoring you, to grasp the existant differences between the two countries?

    “You were the same one insisting in the other thread that Sri Lankans prefer a strongman.”

    They do. I’m asking you if you’re in agreement with this preference for a Singapore-inspired strongman?

    “I did not give up on that thread; Groundviews insisted that we take the discussion elsewhere.”

    Apparently you didn’t get the hint, since you’ve brought up the Singapore nonsense again.

    “Can you name these wars which are specific to SL, that the colonials put down brutally? My point is that the ethnic tension you see today simply wasn’t there during colonial times.”

    Are you seriously telling me you’re ignorant of SL history? 😀 Ethnic tensions weren’t just between the Brits and locals, but earlier colonists were at odds with the locals too. For instance, in 1766 the Dutch had forced the Kandyans to sign a treaty, which the Kandyans later considered so harsh that they immediately began searching for foreign assistance in expelling their foes (http://www.lankalibrary.com/geo/British/history4.htm). The same source goes on to say the British aggressively expanded their territorial possessions by a combination of annexation and intervention, a policy that paralleled the approach pursued by Lord Wellesley in India in the early nineteenth century. This strategy directly threatened the continued existence of the Kingdom of Kandy. Unrest at the Kandyan court between a ruling dynasty of alien, southern Indian antecedents and powerful, indigenous Sinhalese chieftains provided opportunities for British interference. Still deny that there was ethnic tension? These tensions led to the First Kandyan War in 1803. In less than a decade there was further tension and violence: The king had antagonized local Sinhalese chiefs and further alienated the Sinhalese people by actions against Buddhist monks and temple property. In 1815, the Kandyan rebels invited the British to intervene. The Brits used this opportunity to capture Kandy. The popular and widespread rebellion that followed was suppressed with great severity in 1818. In 1848, punitive taxes, six days of forced labour per man, and the acquiring of temple property for plantations sparked the Second Kandyan War. The above source says British troops so severely repressed a rebellion that broke out among the Kandyans in 1848 that the House of Commons in London commissioned an investigation to look into the matter. The governor and his chief secretary were subsequently dismissed, and all new taxes, except the road ordinance, were repealed. Still think it was all tiffin and tea parties under the Brits, dimwit? Here’s a last example; I suggest you educate yourself from now on: In 1915 communal rioting broke out between the Sinhalese and Muslims on the west coast. The British panicked, misconstruing the disturbances as part of an antigovernment conspiracy; they blamed the majority ethnic group and indiscriminately arrested many Sinhalese, including D.S. Senanayake–the future first prime minister of Sri Lanka–who had actually tried to use his influence to curb the riots. The British put down the unrest with excessive zeal and brutality, which shocked British and Sri Lankan observers alike. Let’s not even get into pre-colonial history which is full of wars between the locals as well as against the Indians.

    “Once again, the LTTE is gone… the LTTE will never come back. There is NO LTTE. So where is the political solution.”

    I already told you; the 13th is the basis for any solution. It’s the implementation that is needed in the north. As I’ve already told you, it took four years before West Germany returned to civil law. Be patient. For now, security and development is the urgent need.

    “Ever worked for a company, Blacker? They give you a fixed budget and a time-frame to design and implement a project. If you fail, you’re FIRED.”

    But the shareholders in this company (the SL citizens) haven’t set any deadlines. It’s just you outsiders who are such eager beavers.

  • Heshan

    Belle,

    Thanks for your excellent post of January 15th. If I may add my own views:

    Singapore is a mixed experiment in democracy.

    Indeed, that is the same sentiment I get when reading Lee Kuan Yew’s interviews. Singapore’s success is probably due to his LKY’s extraordinary abilities to combine the best of East and West.

    Singaporeans simply like the party for its dedication and successful record.

    Exactly! LKY has a proven track record of success spanning nearly 50 years. He is to politics what Warren Buffet is to investments. People like that are extremely rare, in any arena. Subjectively speaking, LKY probably held on to his post not for personal gain, but because he felt he was capable – that he could do the job as well as anyone else. Certainly, his track record backs it up. This is different from the usual nepotism that one associates with dictatorships. Had there been a major catastrophe that caused Singapore to plunge, I have no doubt that LKY would have willingly resigned. After all, his philosophy is that “we (Singapore) should not exist…” how many politicians take their job so seriously?


    But what is more commendable about democracy in Singapore is that minority interests and rights have always been taken seriously. Minorities are not expected to prove that they deserve full rights–it is a given that they are equal citizens, and equal rights is part of the National Pledge that is said every day at school assemblies. Sri Lanka can learn a lot from Singapore in this respect. The minorities are more than fully represented in Parliament and in the Cabinet (more than their proportion of the national population). Parliament can’t easily pass laws that hurt minority interests because they have to get past a Presidential Council for Minority Rights. Race and religion based associations give feedback to the government on any problems. Singapore’s Civil Service is an equal opportunities employer and minorities are in prominent positions there. The joke around here is that even our gangs are multiracial.

    This is what I meant by SL becoming like Singapore. It is my understanding that the official medium of instruction in all government schools (in Singapore) is English , something which I have promoted on this forum. Also, the way that the Singaporean government ensures integration in housing via the use of ethnic quotas is very interesting.


    And, yes, Singapore has had Prime Ministers that are not associated with Lee Kuan Yew, such as Goh Chok Tong. The next Prime Minister will definitely not be from the Lee family, though I don’t know when Lee Hsien Loong, the son, will retire as PM. The third generation of the Lee family does not appear to be groomed for politics–they are mostly in the arts areas whereas in Singapore, politicians come from the sciences, technology and economics/finance areas.

    In other words, Mr.Blacker’s dream of a Lee family dynasty will evaporate in thin air. 🙂

    It should be said too that Lee Hsien Loong did not become PM only because he was LKY’s son–he had to earn his stripes to enter politics. He had the academic qualifications to be top dog at the ruling party, which is very selective about the academic quality of its candidates. He was a President’s Scholar (based on academic performance, and like many others in the Cabinet, including the next PM), had First Class Honours in Mathematics (like his father before him, in law)at Cambridge and later obtained a Masters in Public Administration at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He rose through the ranks in the army to become Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces (prior to entering politics), and did an exceptional job heading the operation to rescue people trapped in cable cars in a 1983 accident. He was a very capable Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Minister of Trade and Industry before becoming PM. Very different from the easy ride Namal Rajapaksa got into politics.

    Thanks for providing such detailed info. It would not have been difficult for LKY to pass on the PM post to his son, using his esteemed reputation as a successful ruler. Even after his son became Harvard-qualified (this is the school that grooms America’s Fortune 500 CEO’s and future Presidents 🙂 ) LKY did not just give his son the post; he made him serve an apprenticeship of sorts. This is a clear example of LKY not abusing his vast powers but using them to ensure that the future political head of Singapore is capable beyond any shadow of a doubt. There is no comparison with SL, except to say, of course, that the latter is an epic fail in this regard as well. 🙂


    Singapore’s political culture is very different from other countries, based on technocracy. It is quite pioneering in governance. It may be dominated by a single party but that party has worked out a system to attract the very best talent. It is also very exacting–a hint of corruption or incompetence and you are out, even if you are family.

    That reminds me of the Japanese business model. The workers, and even the top-level management, treat the company as they would their families. Failure is considered very, very embarrassing.

    • Baby ostrich to mother ostrich: “Ooh, mummy, look what I discovered! If you stick your head in the sand like me, we won’t be able to see all those naughty nasty lions like Blacker and Wijeyapala, and if we both talk loudly to each other, we won’t hear them laughing at us either!”

  • Heshan

    TT,

    The difference between India’s fedeal model and USA’s or Australia’s oe Malaysia’s federal model is India’s fedeal demarcations are mostly based on racial differences.

    India’s federal model is not based on racial differences, but linguistic differences. Indians are generally from the same race. The minor variations you see, such as Punjabi people being “fairer” than Telugu ppl, on average, is not due to race, but the proximity of this or that group of people to the numerous foreign invaders. These minor differences should not be used to classify an entire group as a distinct race, however. I have come across a blue-eyed South Indian Tamil man (complexion = very dark) and one of my co-workers was a gray-eyed Telugu. Aishwarya Rai is a Mangalorean (South India).

    • TT

      Heshan,

      Interesting!

      Anyway my point is the Australian, Malaysian and to an extent US federal models better suit SL than India. SL cannot have linguistic demarcations. Tamil speakers are scattered around the island. After the end of the war Sinhalese will be around the island too. If at all, SL needs to follow the Australian or malaysian federal model. OBVIOUSLY, Australia and Malaysia are MORE PEACEFUL than India! If SL changes anything for peace, it should go for the best. Sadly most federal countries have very powerful militaries. SL will have to further boost its military if it turns to be a federal country.

  • Heshan

    In spite of the fact that it has been conclusively pointed out to you by myself, Rajivmw, Wijayapala, and now even Belle,

    Actually, Belle has contradicted virtually everything you said here. Singapore’s success is not due to LKY’s wielding vast amounts of power, but to the equitable nature of public policy. For example, the medium of instruction in all public schools is English. This levels the playing field for students from different backgrounds. It also ensures that Singapore possesses a highly competent workforce that can compete in the global marketplace. Ever met undergrads from SL universities, Blacker? They are intelligent but the quality of their English is a different story altogether.The one’s who have attended expensive private/international schools are a different story, but they don’t form even 5% of the total population, and the vast majority now go overseas for university. Belle has also pointed out how the government takes pains to ensure minorities are not discriminated against. I mentioned that the government there enforces ethnically mixed housing schemes. Compare this to the state-sponsored 100% Sinhala-Buddhist colonization schemes which are built exclusively in the North and East.

    As Belle points out, even though there have been other PMs in Singapore, the point is that LKY or his extended family, or those loyal to him, have controlled the country for most of its post-independence history,

    Actually, as Belle pointed out, politics in Singapore is not based on loyalty but efficiency (which is one measure of capability). There is nothing wrong with choosing capable people. If you disagree, I can recommend a few good medications.

    and if there’s any move towards true democracy, it’s very recent.

    Are you backtracking on your earlier declaration that Singapore is not a democracy? 🙂

    And yet, you insist that SL have all the aspects of a liberal democracy immediately.

    Where did I insist on that? In fact, some of what I’ve suggested could be done via entirely different political methodologies. Kicking the Sangha out of politics – religion was not popular in the USSR! Open-market economy – Saudi Arabia certainly has one, but the government is run on the basis of Shari’a Law.
    Granting a full amnesty to all ex-LTTE – granting amnesty after a war is considered a gesture of peace, more than anything else. Letting the Tamils run their own affairs under a federal system of government – even Saddam Hussein endorsed federalism in 1970 (http://www.michaelrubin.org/1165/what-do-iraqis-think-about-life-after-saddam). So, you cannot take everything I say and classify it under the banner of “liberal democracy.” The dividing lines in political theory are porous, at best.


    The fact is, LKY would never have been able to do what he’s done with his little island if he had to toe the democratic line.

    If that were true, then all the other dictatorships ought to be just as prosperous. Cuba, North Korea, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, and the Taliban-run Afghanistan ought to have succeeded beyond all expectations. The Taliban hated democracy so much they did not let women walk on the street without a male companion. Are you perhaps suggesting that it was to encourage women to stay at home and start their own highly profitable dot-com ventures? Ahh, but the Taliban did not like computers either, much less the internet. Anyway, the point is that you cannot have a successful society without some degree of democracy, which is why the USSR, despite being a superpower, fell. It also why China has increasingly embraced open-market economic policies.

    Lol pointing out that officials are elected by parliament and not the people doesn’t prove your case for democracy. Neither does the fact that the only high official elected by popular vote is the ceremonial president.

    The Presidential Post was only ceremonial until 1991. This is what the President can now do:

    The president now exercises powers over the following:[19]

    * appointment of public officers
    * government budgets
    * examine government’s exercise of its powers under the Internal Security Act
    * examine government’s exercise of its powers under religious harmony laws
    * investigations into cases of corruption

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_Singapore

    In addition to which, what you called the “ceremonial President” is the same one who chooses the Prime Minister. Doesn’t sound like a very ceremonial position to me! According to the Singapore Constitution, the “ceremonial President” can also have the President be investigated for corruption, even if the latter doesnt’ consent:

    Article 22g Concurrence of President for Certain Investigations
    Notwithstanding that the Prime Minister has refused to give hisconsent to the Director of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau to make any inquiries or to carry out any investigations into any information received by the Director touching upon the conduct of any person or any allegation or complaint made against any person, the Director may make such inquiries or carry out investigations into such information, allegation or complaint if the President, acting in his discretion, concurs therewith.

    http://www.servat.unibe.ch/icl/sn00000_.html

    A popularly elected president who is ceremonial 😉 On the other hand, there are amost no Malay or Indian high officials, just Chinese. In Dr Michael D Barr’s The Charade of Meritocracy, he points out that 60% of the Singaporean economy isn’t controlled by democratically elected officials, but by administrators piped in through the government’s bonded scholarship programme, and almost all of them are Chinese, and many are serving military officers who are outside of any semblance of democratic process.

    Belle has already proved the folly of this argument. Politicians are chosen based on merit more than anything else, and expected to perform their jobs with a high degree of professionalism. The fact that Singapore is the third least corrupt nation in the world (www.heritage.org/Index/country/Singapore) would indicate that the process is working well. There is generally a positive correlation between democracy and corruption. The only exception I can think of are the Nazis, although, at an individual level, certain top Nazi officials such as Herman Goering had no qualms about plundering from occupied countries. On the other hand, take a place like SL, where the decline in democratic norms has been counterbalanced by a rise in corruption.

    In fact, Singapore’s system of promotion disguises and even facilitates tremendous biases against women, the poor and non-Chinese.

    That’s hilarious; I have known very few Singaporeans in my life, but the ones I have known – all Tamils – have been extremely successful and never complained about the discrimination you speak of. If anything, the victim is usually eager to get back at the tyrant – witness the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora. So, where is this anti-Chinese Singaporean movement you speak of? 🙂

    Firstly, I didn’t say it was necessarily a dictatorship, just that it wasn’t a democracy;

    That’s because you’re still thinking in absolute terms. I keep mentioning that there are no absolutes in politics, only approximations.

    So you agree that calling a country the Deutsche Democratic Republic, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or any other official mumbo jumbo doesn’t make it democratic anymore than calling one the Kingdom of Belgium makes it a dictatorship?

    My argument was always that Singapore is a democracy; you on the other hand, kept pursuing an absurd line of reasoning that Singapore is not a democracy because LKY has been PM for such-and-such a number of years. In fact, whether or not the head of state/ruler is elected by the people is not the defining feature of a democracy:

    Parliamentary

    Parliamentary democracy is a representative democracy where government is appointed by parliamentary representatives as opposed to a ‘presidential rule’ wherein the President is both head of state and the head of government and is elected by the voters. Under a parliamentary democracy, government is exercised by delegation to an executive ministry and subject to ongoing review, checks and balances by the legislative parliament elected by the people.[51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy

    • <em"Singapore’s success is not due to LKY’s wielding vast amounts of power, but to the equitable nature of public policy."

      Policy set by LKY. That’s what I said 😀

      “Actually, as Belle pointed out, politics in Singapore is not based on loyalty but efficiency (which is one measure of capability). There is nothing wrong with choosing capable people. If you disagree, I can recommend a few good medications.”

      I’m sure you’re very familiar with said medications, Heshan, but as I already pointed out to you, both Michael Barr and Ross-Worthington give statistics that prove both you and Belle to be ignorant of the true facts, and that ethnicity plays a bigger role than capability. If you disagree, I suggest you quote stats that will prove your point instead of rambling on like an idiot. I earlier asked you to name any popularly elected high officials who are non-Chinese, or in fact any popularly elected high officials (cabinet level or above), but you’re unable to do so.

      “Belle has also pointed out how the government takes pains to ensure minorities are not discriminated against.”

      Lol, again, actual statistics prove both you and Belle wrong.

      “Are you backtracking on your earlier declaration that Singapore is not a democracy?”

      No. Which part of “If there’s any move towards true democracy, it’s very recent” do you not understand?

      “Where did I insist on that [liberal democracy]?”

      Right here: http://groundviews.org/2010/11/28/the-big-lie/comment-page-1/#comment-25348 You said: “The solution for Sri Lanka is simple — liberal democracy.”

      “Kicking the Sangha out of politics – religion was not popular in the USSR! Open-market economy – Saudi Arabia certainly has one, but the government is run on the basis of Shari’a Law. Letting the Tamils run their own affairs under a federal system of government – even Saddam Hussein endorsed federalism in 1970”

      So your examples now of good governance is the USSR, Saudi Arabia and Saddam Hussein? 😀 And however in love with a federal system you or I might be, Heshan, the fact is that the voting public has rejected it, mostly because RW lost the media war a decade ago, and wasn’t able to sell it to the SL people. He squandered a perfect opportunity, and I fear it’s lost forever, or at least for our lifetimes.

      “So, you cannot take everything I say and classify it under the banner of “liberal democracy.” The dividing lines in political theory are porous, at best.”

      But I’m not; you are 😀

      However, if you wish to withdraw that sentiment, I’ll allow it. So should we take it then that you’re not necessarily advocating liberal democracy for SL?

      “If that were true, then all the other dictatorships ought to be just as prosperous. Cuba, North Korea, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, and the Taliban-run Afghanistan ought to have succeeded beyond all expectations.”

      How do you figure that out? 😀 I said that LKY was able to achieve what he did, because he was able to push through policies unhindered. Did I say that it was irrelevant what the policies were? Do get a grip, Heshan. Perhaps those medications you were prescribing might help.

      “Anyway, the point is that you cannot have a successful society without some degree of democracy, which is why the USSR, despite being a superpower, fell. It also why China has increasingly embraced open-market economic policies.”

      You’re assuming that an open market policy goes hand in hand with democracy; it doesn’t. Singapore and Hong Kong are proof that the former doesn’t require the latter. The USSR didn’t fall because of its lack of democracy, but because of its lack of an open market, and China’s continued success is proof of that. India didn’t have an open market until a couple of decades ago, because they felt they needed to build up and stabilize their own industries before throwing them into the deep end, and yet, India was both a successful society and a functioning democracy without having an open market. Singapore was able to have an open market right from the outset because it depended more o n services than exports.

      “The Presidential Post was only ceremonial until 1991. This is what the President can now do:”

      Wrong again 😀 Those powers were always with the Singaporean president, the only thing that changed constitutionally in ’91 was that the he had to be elected. In spite of this constitutional requirement, the incumbent president Sellapan Ramanathan wasn’t elected to the post. Jonathan Miller already quoted the man’s own Wikipedia entry, but since as usual you ignore whatever contradicts your claim, I’ll post it here again: “Although a Straits Times survey showed that nearly 80 per cent of Singaporeans hoped for a contest, Nathan nonetheless took up office unopposed as President on August 18, 1999. His nomination was strongly supported by Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew. He succeeded the fifth President of Singapore, Ong Teng Cheong, and was sworn in on September 1, 1999. On July 12, 2005, Nathan announced that he was seeking re-election as President. He submitted an eligibility application to the Presidential Elections Committee; by August 6, 2005, three more people had also submitted forms, but on August 13, 2005, the Committee announced that the other three applicants had been rejected as ineligible. Nathan returned unopposed on nomination day, August 17, 2005. He was sworn in for a second term of office on September 1, 2005.”

      Are you suggesting that he is in fact the head of government and not the PM? If he is not the head of government, then he is ceremonial. Also, which officials can he appoint; are there any high officials on that list? And which budgets can he set; are there any amongst the ministerial portfolios? Lol, Heshan, is this one more of your claims amongst “there was no election in 2001” and “North Korea is not a member of the UN”?

      “In addition to which, what you called the “ceremonial President” is the same one who chooses the Prime Minister.”

      Well, since the president himself has been handpicked by LKY, it stands to reason that his choice of PM will also reflect his patron’s wishes. One hand washes the other, and both hands wash the face 😉 Sounds more or less like Russia under Putin.

      “Belle has already proved the folly of this argument.”

      Lol I think I’ll take Dr Michael Barr’s statistics-backed claim over er… Belle’s; thank you. And the latter hasn’t proven anything. Proof requires evidence.

      “That’s hilarious; I have known very few Singaporeans in my life, but the ones I have known – all Tamils – have been extremely successful and never complained about the discrimination you speak of.”

      Oh, I’m sure you have very little experience of anything Singaporean, Heshan 😀 which is quite evident. I, on the hand, know many Singaporean residents who are of SL or Indian descent, and they all speak of this discrimination. I have also seen first-hand the way Indians are treated by Chinese in relation to other ethnicities. So since are personal experiences are at odds, I’m prepared to accept the scholarly findings of someone like Barr, however hilarious you may find them, especially since you can’t provide any contrary evidence.

      “So, where is this anti-Chinese Singaporean movement you speak of?”

      Where did I speak of such a movement?

      “That’s because you’re still thinking in absolute terms. I keep mentioning that there are no absolutes in politics, only approximations.”

      So you contend that both SL and Singapore are approximations of a democracy?

      “My argument was always that Singapore is a democracy; you on the other hand, kept pursuing an absurd line of reasoning that Singapore is not a democracy because LKY has been PM for such-and-such a number of years. In fact, whether or not the head of state/ruler is elected by the people is not the defining feature of a democracy”

      Wrong again, Heshan. What I actually said was that one cannot contend that Singapore is a democracy if one is unwilling to accept that SL is a democracy. I already told you that having a parliament, a president, or any of the other trappings of democracy is insufficient; democracy is in the workings of it. The same link you provided begins with the primary definition of a democracy: “Democracy is a political form of government in which governing power is derived from the people, by consensus (consensus democracy), by direct referendum (direct democracy), or by means of elected representatives of the people (representative democracy).” Singapore has none of this. It goes on to say: <strong<"These principles are reflected in all citizens being equal before the law and having equal access to power. For example, in a representative democracy, every vote has equal weight, no restrictions can apply to anyone wanting to become a representative, and the freedom of its citizens is secured by legitimized rights and liberties which are generally protected by a constitution." Barr’s study shows that access to the Singaporean power chain is restricted almost exclusively to those who enter through the government-controlled bonded scholarships which favour Chinese, and even then patronage (aka selection) by the top of the structure is required. All of this makes Singapore’s qualification for the term “democratic” extremely tenuous at best. I kn ow what your opinion is, Heshan, but if you want to counter this evidence, please provide some statistics; cutting and pasting bits of Wikipedia won’t help.

    • “At least he had the guts to take on India.”

      Really? When did he do that? Rajiv Gandhi invited him to watch the Indian Army parade on India Day, then sent a couple of aircraft carriers to patrol off Colombo, and finally told JRJ, sign here or we’ll come over and kick your arse. JRJ did so pretty quick. Was that what you meant by his gutsy standing up to India? Oh, and what was his “great friend” the USA doing while this was happening? 😀

      “India does not want a strong SL, and a clown like Rajapakse sitting on the throne for several decades to come will serve its purposes well.”

      Another ’80s cliche that many idiots still buy into. India didn’t want strong neighbours once upon a time, which was why it did its best to destabilise Pakistan, Bangladesh, and SL; but the world has changed since then, and India with it. An open economy, the passing of non-alignment, and India’s own trouble with externally-supported terrorists, has made it realize that the whole region needs stability, and not just India itself. India in the ’70s and ’80s saw its superpower coming solely from its military might, and the latter was strengthened by regional instability, especially in the light of India’s at-the-time recent wars with China, Nixon and Mao normalizing their countries’ relationship, and JRJ’s western outlook. Today, India sees its superpower coming as much from its trade might and its economic power, both of which require regional stability.

      “Jayewardene and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi finally concluded the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord, which provided for devolution of powers to Tamil dominated regions, an Indian peacekeeping force in the north, and the demobilization of the LTTE.”

      😀 None of these things were done on JRJ’s initiative, Heshan. Gandhi bullied him into signing the Accord and making the 13th Amendment (which was sorely needed). JRJ himself preferred to defeat the LTTE militarily, and he was about to, via Denzil Kobekkaduwa’s Operation Liberation. Before that, JRJ oversaw Black July, the burning of the Jaffna Library, and was at least partly responsible for the dissolution of the Banda-Chelva Pact and “Sinhala Only”. I suggest you drop this indefensible argument, Heshan, before you make a bigger idiot of yourself than you did when you claimed there was no election in 2001, or that the US didn’t develop an atom bomb 😀

      “The LTTE rejected the accord, as it fell short of a separate state.”

      Exactly. After ’87, the LTTE had no legitimate cause; both political devolution and the language issue had been resolved (at least on paper), not by JRJ, but by Rajiv Gandhi. Implementation of the 13th has been delayed for over 20 years because of the Tigers.

      “It was JRJ who first embraced neo-liberal economics and that matters more than who followed him and copied him.”

      As I told you before, liberal economics weren’t invented by either JRJ or even LKY; they both adapted them (copied, in your terminology) existing practices. Premadasa and RW adapted these further. The point is, SL would have moved to an open market policy eventually, JRJ or no; however the catastrophic damage done to ethnic relations by JRJ is incomparable to anything since.

      “Given the Heenayana mindset that Kusal has written about, there is definitely a mob mentality at play. Even dictators prefer to have a “mandate” from the people.”

      Kusal’s religious attack has been rubbished all over GV, and the man doesn’t even have the wherewithal to put up a defence; all he has to say is “you’re all stupid”. 😀 No wonder he appeals to you. So you claim that JRJ was a dictator?

      “if it does become like Malaysia, then the “should be” aspect becomes secondary.”

      But the “should be” aspect is your own invention, Heshan. I have never suggested that SL should be like anyone.

      “Malaysia is a failed state.”

      Yes, you keep saying so, but when both Wijeyapala and I ask you for evidence of this, you are unable to provide it. 🙂

      “I didn’t know that every urbanite in Singapore is living in luxury.”

      Neither did I, which was why I never claimed they were. What I said was that having a purely urban population devoid of an agrarian poor was a luxury. Perhaps you should state clearly, at least now, the maximum number of words I am permitted in a sentence before it becomes incomprehensible to you.

      “You can’t just adopt an economic policy and expect success, irrespective of all other factors.”

      So where did I say that we could? 😀

      “Rubbish – the Port of singapore is the busiest in the world. If Hambantota became the busiest port in the world, then SL would indeed become another Singapore.”

      Firstly, Singapore isn’t the busiest port in the world; and secondly, I have already explained to you why a large agrarian-based society would require more than just a busy port in one corner to prosper, unlike a small urban port city society; thirdly, given SL’s location in relation to the region, it is unlikely that Hambantota will ever approach the importance of Singapore as a port. All of this, simply adds many more reasons to the list of why SL’s future, regardless of success, is unlikely to resemble that of Singapore’s.

      “Mistakenly arresting Sinhalese who took part in a race riot is an example of colonial brutality? Come on, Blacker, I’m sure you can do better than that. On the other hand, why were the Sinhalese rioting as early as 1915? Yet another example of the “Heenayana mentality?””

      The details of the brutality “that shocked both British and Sri Lankan observers” in 1915 are freely available on the net, Heshan. I have helped you out by giving you one link; I suggest you use it as a starting point to understanding SL’s history, rather than relying on me to topple the truisms and cliches that you have used to shore up the gaping holes in your failed education. Your comment was that there was no ethnic tension or conflict in SL prior to independence; I have conclusively shown you that there were. Are you prepared to make a further idiot of yourself on this issue as well? Let it go, and perhaps I will too 😉

      “So you admit that a system which promotes a strongman is flawed? Yet you also claimed that most Sinhalese prefer a strongman. Therefore, one is forced to conclude that the the majority of Sinhalese, in this case at least, are engaged in faulty reasoning.”

      Yes, I have always maintained that the strongman-system is at odds with democratic principles, which is what I pointed out to you in our long discussion on Singapore. Since you yourself are an admittedly confused advocate of the strongman-system (ie JRJ being a strongman = good, LKY being a strongman = good, MR being a strongman = not good), would you agree that you are in accord with the Sinhalese majority?

  • Heshan

    Unfortunately for JRJ, his “great friend” left his arse in a crack in ’87 when big brother next door came knocking, just as they did to the Dalai Lama in ’75 when China turned on the heat.

    At least he had the guts to take on India. Whereas, the clown in the scarf will ensure that SL lags permanently behind India, which is really all that India cares about. India does not want a strong SL, and a clown like Rajapakse sitting on the throne for several decades to come will serve its purposes well.

    Really? Can you provide any evidence of these wants of JRJ’s?

    Jayewardene and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi finally concluded the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord, which provided for devolution of powers to Tamil dominated regions, an Indian peacekeeping force in the north, and the demobilization of the LTTE.

    The LTTE rejected the accord, as it fell short of a separate state. Sinhala nationalists were outraged by both the devolution and the presence of foreign troops on Sri Lankan soil. An attempt was made on Jayawardene’s life in 1987 as a result of his signing of the accord.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/junius-richard-jayewardene#ixzz1BFkl6DTP

    Clearly, JR was serious about devolution or the nationalists would not have tried to kill him.

    Actually it was first Premadasa’s and then RW’s adaptation of JRJ’s policies.

    It was JRJ who first embraced neo-liberal economics and that matters more than who followed him and copied him.

    So you contend that the unfair and racist policies that the Tamils suffered under were relatively normal for the times and not the personal initiative of the Sinhalese leadership?

    Given the Heenayana mindset that Kusal has written about, there is definitely a mob mentality at play. Even dictators prefer to have a “mandate” from the people.

    And I never said SL should be like Malaysia either. I said it’s more likely that we’ll be like the latter.

    Wow, what a big difference… if it does become like Malaysia, then the “should be” aspect becomes secondary. Malaysia is a failed state.

    It doesn’t have the luxury of being a tiny urban society which has no say in the economic policies and actions of its government;

    I didn’t know that every urbanite in Singapore is living in luxury. What about those victims of ethnic discrimination you were fretting over in an earlier paragraph?

    What you don’t understand, is that many Asian nations have adapted these economic policies and been successful with them — India, Malaysia, Singapore — and all that is required of SL on the economic front is to adapt such policies to suit our own unique requirements.

    You can’t just adopt an economic policy and expect success, irrespective of all other factors.You need a class of capable individuals. India is producing more than a million engineers a year; visit any university in the USA, and the engineering faculty departments are full of Indians. 30% of all doctors in the UK are Indian. These are people who were educated in India – anyone can get a higher education in India, and pretty much anyone can succeed, thanks to the initiatives taken by the Indian government. What do I mean by intiative? Things like this (http://nptel.iitm.ac.in/) which are funded by the Indian government. The difficulty in India is the sheer number of people, and the fact that it was a caste-based society for thousands of years before the Europeans came. I don’t know what the exact situation in Singapore is regarding technical education, but I am sure they are producing plenty of people to keep the country ahead. There is no such thing in SL. Look at the overwhelming opposition to private universities. Again, an example of the Heenayana mentality at work.

    Even if Hambantota overtakes Singapore as a harbour and generates revenue for SL, having a similar revenue generator won’t make us Singapore 😀 The latter is basically a single port city; Hambantota would have to generate ten times as much revenue for us to have a similar benefit.

    Rubbish – the Port of singapore is the busiest in the world. If Hambantota became the busiest port in the world, then SL would indeed become another Singapore.

    n 1915 communal rioting broke out between the Sinhalese and Muslims on the west coast. The British panicked, misconstruing the disturbances as part of an antigovernment conspiracy; they blamed the majority ethnic group and indiscriminately arrested many Sinhalese,

    Mistakenly arresting Sinhalese who took part in a race riot is an example of colonial brutality? Come on, Blacker, I’m sure you can do better than that. On the other hand, why were the Sinhalese rioting as early as 1915? Yet another example of the “Heenayana mentality?” 🙂

    Also, coming up with a system that is so open to abuse (in your opinion, not mine), and depends solely on the goodwill of the individual, is a pretty flawed system.

    So you admit that a system which promotes a strongman is flawed? Yet you also claimed that most Sinhalese prefer a strongman. Therefore, one is forced to conclude that the the majority of Sinhalese, in this case at least, are engaged in faulty reasoning.

  • Heshan

    There are many ways to become an economic powerhouse, without having to be like Singapore.

    Glad you brought that up, Blacker. One such way is through massive industrialization, communes, a Gulag for dissenters, perhaps an excellent chess team, and a huge army. I will let you figure out which nation that was. But there are other ways too. For example:

    “The true independence, if anyone cares to celebrate, gained not in 1948, but in 1170 AD – give or take few decades. That was when Parakramabahu the great –the greatest to ever rule us – not only liberated the isle from the mighty Chola Empire but converted it to an economic powerhouse. Contrary to popular belief, agrarian self-sufficiency was not Parakramabahu’s goal. His futuristic strategy was to be the trade hub of South Asia. Indian, Roman, Arab, Javanese and Chinese traders were frequent visitors to Serendib. The twelfth century ‘granary’ of Asia, probably was the equivalent of modern Singapore.

    The dark ages that followed the fall of Polonnaruwa kingdom saw less political stability, more power centers, more civil wars and less trade. Arya Chakravarties of Nallur, arguably the most powerful in the interim period were said to have a large naval force, but still no records that business was their forte. Meanwhile in the South it was more a battle among each other.

    Like it or not, it was the Portuguese followed by Dutch, who brought the lost glory. Spices suddenly became hot products; cutting a cinnamon plant was punished by death. British, after capturing Kandyan kingdom in 1815, introduced coffee, tea and rubber – the new economic crops. This gave birth to two classes of entrepreneurs – first British but towards the end of nineteenth century, domestic. The transition from feudal to modern economy materialized many dreams – highways and railways, commercial sea ports, administrative system, fixed income jobs, developed corporate sector, postal service, communication system followed by even quality education and proper healthcare. By the middle of the last century Ceylon successfully eradicated a predicament as serious as foreign invasions to ancient rulers: Malaria

    Thus strictly speaking, it was not the Europeans who robbed our independence. Rather it was them who brought it back directing us to a new age. Otherwise Seylan could have easily ended up another Burma, Cambodia or Nepal.

    Post independence economic reveries were short lived. The Colombo Plan, which aimed to ‘uplift’ neighbours to our own level, is long forgotten. First Central Bank chief John Exter’s objections to subsidies in the middle of rubber-crisis were met with a Hartal to be followed up with the first populist government in 1956. The rest is history.

    To cut short, Singapore had Dr Goh Keng Swee and we had Dr. Nanayakkarage Martin Perera. Both were products of London School of Economics – students of legendary Harold Laski and no doubt, brilliant economists. Strangely they acted in ways diametrically opposite. Their footprints were long seen in the respective economies. By mid 1970s Singapore had a first-rate airline and one of the busiest airports. We had kerosene smelling t-shirts, transparent sarongs (aptly named ‘Ganta mark’) and maniocs – to be eaten twice weekly.”

    https://bandaragama.wordpress.com/tag/jr-jayawardena/

    Do re-read this particular line a few types: “it was not the Europeans who robbed our independence.” I’m not sure that’s a popular sentiment in the government schools, hence, this is a good opportunity to educate you.

    Your blind faith is very sweet, but without the US on the Security Council, the huge military loans, the sharing of nuclear secrets, etc, Israel would have been history a long time ago. It is still the American support for Israel, in spite of the immoral and illegal activities you yourself have pointed out, that ensures the the Middle East’s instability.

    Obviously you didn’t go through that link to Nietzche’s “Anti-Christ” which I gave you:

    Here I barely touch upon the problem of the origin of Christianity. The first thing necessary to its solution is this: that Christianity is to be understood only by examining the soil from which it sprung—it is not a reaction against Jewish instincts; it is their inevitable product; it is simply one more step in the awe-inspiring logic of the Jews…

    The Jews are the most remarkable people in the history of the world, for when they were confronted with the question, to be or not to be, they chose, with perfectly unearthly deliberation, to be at any price: this price involved a radical falsification of all nature, of all naturalness, of all reality, of the whole inner world, as well as of the outer. They put themselves against all those conditions under which, hitherto, a people had been able to live, or had even been permitted to live; out of themselves they evolved an idea which stood in direct opposition to natural conditions—one by one they distorted religion, civilization, morality, history and psychology until each became a contradiction of its natural significance. We meet with the same phenomenon later on, in an incalculably exaggerated form, but only as a copy: the Christian church, put beside the “people of God,” shows a complete lack of any claim to originality. Precisely for this reason the Jews are the most fateful people in the history of the world: their influence has so falsified the reasoning of mankind in this matter that today the Christian can cherish anti-Semitism without realizing that it is no more than the final consequence of Judaism.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19322/19322-h/19322-h.htm

    Nietzsche was also a brilliant psychologist (his theories have had an impact on modern psychology), which is I why have quoted him. Look at the last line; who else could so brilliantly repudiate anti-Semitism? In any case, Nietzsche is saying that the Jews have cultivated the instinct for self-preservation far, far better than any other race/culture/civilization. It’s that instinct, more than anything else, which has prevented Jews from going extinct on a half-dozen occasions.

    And yes, Israel is the home of the Jews. Every Jew who emigrites there is considered a citizen of Israel as soon as the plane lands. If you still believe Israel is of secondary to importance to Jews, may I suggest you try and speak to one.

    • wijayapala

      Prof Heshan

      Arya Chakravarties of Nallur, arguably the most powerful in the interim period were said to have a large naval force,

      Could you kindly tell us where you heard that Arya Chakravarty had a large naval force?

      • yapa

        “Arya Chakravarties of Nallur, arguably the most powerful in the interim period were said to have a large naval force,”

        Arya Chakravarthi was a Tamil invader who invaded Sri Lanka and ruled the Jaffna peninsula by force. The rule by the invader and his decedents claimed as a “legitimate kingdom – Jaffna Kingdom” by Tamils ls a myth. If an area ruled by an invader is considered as a “Kingdom”, even Portuguese, Dutch and English also can claim to have had “kingdoms” here. This illegitimate brutal invasion, they claim to support their mythology to say Sri Lanka had a Tamil kingdom when it was captured by Portuguese, and hence to claim, it should be handed back separately to Tamils, as their traditional homeland, when the British colonials are gone. Further, it was in the hand of three more invaders (Portuguese, Dutch and British)when it was handed back to Sri Lanka in 1948. If invasions are considered as legitimate and their rules are considered as kingdoms, Aryachakrawarthi kingdom has no any more legitimacy just after it was captured by Portuguese.

        In contrary, if anybody says invasions are not legitimate, the Sinhalese rule prevailed before the Chola/Pandya invasion is legitimate over so called Jaffana Kingsom.

        Can anybody justify the claim of the Separate rule of Jaffna Kingdom without this contradictions?

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        I don’t mind even an answer from The Mervyn Silva for the queries of of my post above.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Is there no any Tamil comrade brave enough to challenge my notion that there was no legitimate Tamil Kingdom in Sri Lanka?

        Belle, Heshan, and many ardent supporters who were worried of their “Traditional Homeland”, being colonized by Sinhalese?

        I think they have a responsibility to stand their claim. This is an opportunity. Please prove you all are right and I am wrong. I think fake cardboard mansions built to display to the international community are being collapsed one by one. If they are not just propaganda, just show them are true.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        I will answer your responses after 23rd. You have enough time to collect your facts and write a good thesis.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala;

        Your comments in this regards is appreciated. I think you can do a big contribution in this regard. We can find the truth of these remotely understood secrets of history though a fact finding mission, I suppose.

        Thanks!

    • TT

      Singapore spends almost 4% of its GDP on the military. Freedom House ranks Singapore’s level of democracy and civil liberties lower than Sri Lanka! Check it out if you don’t believe me. Singapore’s secret is its strategic location. That made it a regional naval hub, then a business hub and now a financial hub. There is absolutely no media, etc., freedoms in Singapore. It is essentially a dictatorship. But it has worked well for them. Most Singaporeans are Chinese and for them the level of democracy (near zero) is still better than China. Also over 50% of its exports are to China (mainland, HK, Maccau). That mean very stable export earnings not like Sri Lanka where the EU and US can threaten exports based on arbitrary nonsense.
      If you live in Singapore you will realise that unofficially there is a huge Chinese domination. Tamil is dying. Most educated Tamils leave Singapore today for USA, Australia, UK. Unofficially there are many things happening from schools to workplaces to eliminate the use of the Tamil language. I don’t take LKY’s dying declaration seriously. Actions speak louder than words.

      There is something called ISA which is more powerful than SL’s PTA. Many political opponents are in remand custody under this for years.

    • “Glad you brought that up, Blacker. One such way is through massive industrialization, communes, a Gulag for dissenters, perhaps an excellent chess team, and a huge army.”

      So you’re suggesting that SL must follow either Singapore or the USSR as models of economic development; that there are no other ways to heaven but through Jesus?

      “Thus strictly speaking, it was not the Europeans who robbed our independence. Rather it was them who brought it back directing us to a new age. Otherwise Seylan could have easily ended up another Burma, Cambodia or Nepal.”

      Not at all. Burma, Cambodia, and Nepal were all colonised by the Europeans; which proves my point (discussed conclusively in that earlier thread you gave up on) that colonisation in fact crippled our overall natural development.

      “Do re-read this particular line a few types: “it was not the Europeans who robbed our independence.”I’m not sure that’s a popular sentiment in the government schools, hence, this is a good opportunity to educate you.”

      However many “types” you read it, it doesn’t get less stupid. Is your distinct skill with diction a result of that non-governmental school you went to?

      “Obviously you didn’t go through that link to Nietzche’s “Anti-Christ” which I gave you:”

      I didn’t need to; I’ve done so many years ago. Nietzche was talking about the Jewish people, and not the state of Israel, and the two are very distinct from each other, even more distinct than the differences between the Tamil people and the Tigers. It is not the Jewish people who are persecuting the Palestinians, colonizing their lands, and holding them as vassals; it is the state of Israel. If you want to defend the practices of the latter, please do so, but cutting and pasting Nietzche on the Jews is pretty pointless given that the man died half a century before the creation of the state of Israel.

      “Nietzsche was also a brilliant psychologist (his theories have had an impact on modern psychology), which is I why have quoted him.”

      No, I suspect you’ve quoted him because when you hit google in search of arguments defending the Jews, his was the first one that came up. 😉

      “If you still believe Israel is of secondary to importance to Jews, may I suggest you try and speak to one.”

      Where did I say that Israel was of secondary importance to Jews? 😀 And yes, I’ve met several Jews, mostly Israelis; I trained with some during my time in the Army, and I met more of them during the concluding months of the war. They were over here, helping Gota and SF squash the Tigers. FYI, the strategy of keeping the media out and using overwhelming force is in fact an American concept perfected by the Israelis — don’t forget both Gota and SF attended training courses at Ft Benning. Since the US can’t really keep the media out, they did the next best thing; embedding, a concept that totally subverts the media. You can learn more about that from John Pilger . Israel adapted it further in their invasions of Gaza and Lebanon; and Gota and SF took it as far as they could.

  • Heshan

    Correction: the “ceremonial President” can also have the Prime Minister be investigated for corruption,

  • Tunisians recently drove their PresiDunce from power in a mass uprising. The preferred title for the Ttunisian PresiDunce and his family was “Tunisia’s First Family”. To the people they ruled over, though, president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and his clan were known as “The Mafia” – a ruling clique whose greed and nepotism ultimately caused their downfall.
    Following in the footsteps of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and numerous other deposed dictators, Mr Ben Ali was granted refuge in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, starting what will likely be a comfortable, if less than dignified, political retirement.
    Millions of Tunisians celebrated the end of his 23-year-long dictatorial rule. All President Ben Ali’s power and wealth became concentrated in the family, and especially that of his wife. He was so arrogant that he undermined his own power base, alienating supporters in the party and the business community.
    Can the Blacker’s and the Jayatilake’s out there see any similarities between Tunisia and Silly Lanka?
    Now the 64 million dollar question is , WHEN WILL THE SILLY LANKANS RISE UP?

    • When and if Sri Lankans have enough of MR & Co, we will get rid of them, but ’til then, no amount of yapping by silly Dunces will change a thing.

  • Ha…ha…David…it takes a Dunce to recognise another Dunce. Remember what the Buddha said.” Anicca watta sankara.” NOTHING IS PERMANENT!Someday Rajapaksa and his clan will get what happened to the Shah in Iran…Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines and Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. It is just a matter of time.

    • Hope is only despair deferred. If you feel that a future vengeance will help you make it through today, so be it. I prefer to discuss reality.

  • Over 20,000 Tamil civilians killed during the final stages of the ‘HOO manitarian Crusade’is reality…

    That you and I will never see a non-buddhist becoming PresiDunce of this country in our lifetime is reality…

    That the killing of cattle on the full moon is banned in this country but bombing people in the north and east was accepted is reality…

    That the LTTE and the armed forces both killed unarmed civilians in the course of the war is reality…

    That the 13 or 14 journalists who were killed were not killed by international conspirators to tarnish the image of the government…but were killed by we know HOO is reality…

    That women from America will never work as house maids in Sri Lanka in the near future is reality…

    That the truth can never be hidden for long is reality…

    Have a nice day David…

    • Coupling your fantasies with realities will not make the fantasy reality, Dunce. In fact, it makes even reality seem like a fantasy 😀

  • wijayapala

    Prof Heshan

    Clearly, JR was serious about devolution or the nationalists would not have tried to kill him.

    Actually he was serious about devolution only because the Indians were threatening him.

  • Heshan

    Wijayapala:

    Could you kindly tell us where you heard that Arya Chakravarty had a large naval force?

    Could you kindly tell us where it is written that Arya Chakravarty did not have a naval force?

    Actually he was serious about devolution only because the Indians were threatening him.

    Does that mean the nationalist who tried to assassinate JRJ was simply using the latter for target practice? 🙂

  • yapa

    A Wonderfully Beautiful Sound Argument of our Dear Friend Heshan;

    Heshan
    January 18, 2011 • 8:53 am
    Wijayapala:

    Could you kindly tell us where you heard that Arya Chakravarty had a large naval force?

    Heshan’s Answer

    Could you kindly tell us where it is written that Arya Chakravarty did not have a naval force?

    ………………

    Going along this arguments of our friend Heshan, all those whose names were not written as “did not have naval forces”, must have had naval forces.

    Dear Heshan;I was stunned with your intellect.

    Thanks!

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    Looks like you have committed a fallacy of inductive reasoning. The general case does not necessarily follow from the particular case. By the way, your “economic theory” is interesting:

    Poor countries released the barriers and let the factors of production move freely through their frontiers without any hindrance. Factories of the wealthy nations moved to the countries with cheap labour and found land too at cheap rates. They could cut off the transport costs of raw materials to and finished good pro. They found all the factors of production in the same place and a growing market to sell their value added products at the same place.The game was easier than the imperialism which needed use of force, at some cost to them.

    By factors of production, you are surely referring to land, labor, and capital. Can you explain why the poor countries are not making proper use of the factors of production, after the Europeans left? Do you think using mostly water buffalo is an efficient way to plow a paddy field? What if there was a disease and all the buffalo died; how will the field be prepared? What is the quality of Sri Lankan manufactured products… the only lasting Sri Lankan manufactured I have ever come across are rubber slippers. What does this say about the labor force? Are they suffering from “Heenayana Mentality Syndrome?” 🙂

    • “Looks like you have committed a fallacy of inductive reasoning.”

      Actually, Prof Heshan is just wriggling again 😀 Introducing a theory that has no corroboration requires evidence to support it, not evidence to oppose it. Heshan demands this whenever he pulls a theory out of his backside.

      Since it is not possible to prove a negative, no one can prove that something doesn’t exist, or in other words, one can only fail to prove something exists; in this case Admiral Heshan’s fantasy navy.

      For instance, since no evidence exists that Jesus spoke against masturbation, some might conclude that Jesus advocated masturbation.

      The absence of evidence is merely evidence of absence. 🙂 Try again, Prof.

    • yapa

      Dear Hesha;

      Q: “Looks like you have committed a fallacy of inductive reasoning. The general case does not necessarily follow from the particular case. By the way, your “economic theory” is interesting:”

      A: It is a fact that almost all the subjects except deductive logic itself and Pure Mathematics are based on inductive logic and hence my writing in Economics alone cannot vary. Unlike deductive reasoning, any conclusion arrived at using inductive reasoning has an element prone to fallacy. Other than that inherent general factor common to all inductive reasoning, I don’t see any special deficiency in my “economic theory”. It is just good as any other social science theory available. Don’t you agree with it. However, Mr. Kusal Perera seems afraid of even my inductive reasoning, what if it were deductive reasoning?

      Q: By factors of production, you are surely referring to land, labor, and capital. Can you explain why the poor countries are not making proper use of the factors of production, after the Europeans left?

      A: I have clearly shown that in my article, however, I will list some below.

      1. Present world order created by “wealthy powerful nations” advantageous to them. (Trade agreements,world organizations, use of power, cheating, bribes, commissions, brain washing of the people etc. etc.(who????, can you cite an example?)

      2. Much capital has already been accumulate with so called developed countries, with their imperialist practices and other unethical and immoral practices.

      3. Impossibility of obtaining (especially) capital without cheating others.

      4. Wealthy countries have already developed necessary technology, using plundered capital, and others now cannot use methods such as imperialism for this purpose.

      5. Difficulty of breaking the vicious circle of poverty created by imperialists, by exploiting these countries.

      6. Imperialistic legacy of the past, they changed the proud mentality of those countries to a wretched backward begging mentality.

      7. Some people with good cultures do not appreciate the material development as a complete assessment of development. They think wealthy countries lack of psychological and spiritual development which they consider as an essential integral component of holistic development.

      There are many more. Most of them cannot be attributed to themselves, but to calculated attempts of the outside world. Most of the people of those poor countries are innocent victims.

      Q: Do you think using mostly water buffalo is an efficient way to plow a paddy field?

      A: Of course! A much better option that tractors, for a country like Sri Lanka. It gives additional benefits too, like cost cutting, free milk, free fertilizer, and also inculcate virtues like loving kindness, compassion etc. among people. It also does not create greediness and a rat race.

      Q: What if there was a disease and all the buffalo died; how will the field be prepared?

      A: I think you are joking! What if all the machinery vanish suddenly into thin air?

      Q: What is the quality of Sri Lankan manufactured products… the only lasting Sri Lankan manufactured I have ever come across are rubber slippers.

      A: What do you mean by quality? Standard of the wealthy nations?

      Really standards are set according to the objectives of the people that produce the commodity and the people who consume it. Are you referring to the British Standards of the Nail polish and cosmetics to be recommended to be used by our simple Gamamahages. We don’t need such standards and quality. There is a saying in Sinhala ” Thamange muttam, thummuttam! I think this is no different for the Tamil people living in Sri Lanka as well ( except for wealthy diaspora Tamils living lucrative lives abroad, misleading innocent Tamils living in Sri Lanka).

      Q: What does this say about the labor force? Are they suffering from “Heenayana Mentality Syndrome?”

      They are suffering from it to a certain extent as per the popular evaluation mechanism adopted by you, without questions. As many of the things quality is not an absolute or universal thing to apply equally everywhere. I think deers don’t need sharp beaks and claws of eagles or teeth and hooked nails of tigers.

      Do you think they need? They prefer to live a peaceful life without eating the flesh of others.

      Thanks, Heshan, for your response! Even with your mischief. you are one of my favourites.

      • “A: What do you mean by quality? Standard of the wealthy nations?”

        I think [Edited out] Heshan is comparing rubber slippers to the gas-guzzling pig-ugly barges that the Americans manufacture and call “cars”.

  • Heshan

    *the only lasting Sri Lankan manufactured product

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    Colonialism may have provided short-term benefits for the Europeans. But the capital they acquired as a result of colonialism is trivial compared to their present earnings. So, for example, let us assume that an English merchant in 1805 became very wealthy as a result of trading cinnamon produced in Sri Lanka. Let us assume that he reinvested a sizable portion of his earnings in a textile mill that he founded. The textile mill probably does not exist today. Even if it did exist, the cost of maintaining it for one month probably exceeds the profit gained through trading cinnamon for 5 years. That is because the labor cost is much higher today, taxes are higher today, and the whole manufacturing process is much more automated (performed by machines as opposed to humans). You can see that the economic situation is very different today than it was 200 years ago. What does this mean? It means that the West is not wealthy today because it exploited the East yesterday. If this were the case, the East should also be able to exploit “itself” and become wealthy. The cinnamon, rubber, tea, wood, and spices are still there – they can still be traded.

    The West is wealthy today, compared to the East, because it (West) employs more sophisticated methods than the East for long-term sustainable growth. For example, there is very little subsistence farming done in the West. Large-scale commercial farming is a more profitable venture. Using advanced techniques, such as genetic engineering and sophisticated analysis of the terrain, it is not difficult to guarantee a surplus. That is why even though only 1-2% of the US population are farmers (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_percentage_of_the_US_population_are_farmers), they can feed the other 98%. It is really a question of efficiency. If 98% of the population does not need to farm, there is more room for them to specialize in other activities. This means increased productivity, which means a higher GDP. What about politics? In Western politics, there is no room for nepotism. Nepotism = inefficiency, because when individuals are chosen on the basis of personal preference as opposed to merit, there is a much higher likelihood that they will mess things up. Look at the Sri Lankan public health sector, which is in shambles. I am sure that if you took a closer look, you will find that many of the employees there are not fit for the job.

    Government initiative – this is very important! Too much government interference is a bad thing, as well as not enough involvement. I can give you an example. The approach to reconstruction taken by GOSL is not good at all. In the first place, it is paying for reconstruction via high-interest loans. Secondly, it is relying on foreign labor to do the actual reconstruction work – e.g. build energy plants, roads, highways, ports, and bridges. Thirdly, it is using the military to maintain order (at what cost?!), when the job could easily be done by a local police force. You can see that GOSL is not exploiting the factors of production very efficiently. Do you not agree that local people are capable of building a road/bridge/dam port, under the direction of trained engineers? Could not many of the unemployed university graduates gain valuable experience while participating in these projects – e.g. from managing/forecasting a budget to hiring practices to actual engineering design. The only initiative taken by the Government is to pocket the commissions. I have heard that there are still 200K Tamils living in IDP camps. What are they doing? Whatever they are doing, it is not useful for the economy.

    I think it should be clear to you now, that we cannot blame the West for the present economic situation in SL. I don’t know if eggs grow in the Jaffna climate, but why not remove the high-security zones on top of the arable land and grow something useful. The military should be removed because all they do is create unnecessary congestion. Who will want to invest in such a climate, other than the hopper guy and slipper guy from the South. But they will simply take their earnings and reinvest it in the South – how does this benefit the people in the North?

    • yapa

      Dear Heshan;

      This is the most agreeable essay of yours I have ever come across. I fully agree with you, with the content except for the points that indemnify the west from their past sins and the attribution of their merits just to their technological advancement. Further I have already shown that technological advancement has a bearing on colonization,imperialism and exploitation. Further, you have not darawn your attention to the neo-colonization aspect I have mentioned in my posts. It is one of the main factors that helped western wealthy nations to maintain their hegemony. I have mentioned about globalization, one of the main tools of it. “Global village” is a more exaggerated dazzling version of this version evil concept/venture.

      Anyway, Your essay, in my view is a composition of very good points, to many agreeable and should be taken seriously by all including those who are in power to move forward. Enlightening post I should say!

      However, as I have said earlier, I am a bit busy until 23rd and would like to discuss your post in details after that. Thanks, Heshan for the very good response.

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa:

    Thanks for your encouragement. It is always a pleasure to debate with you, not because we agree, but because of the honesty with which you write. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same thing about your comrades; some of them are hiding behind Ph.D’s, elaborately concealing their hidden agendas behind Marxist jargon and pseudo-academic daydreams. The others are still stuck in the mud of the black-and-white government school mindset, despite *supposedly* having “grown-up.” Anyway, I will respond to your question of neo-colonialism shortly. I need some time to think about it. I look forward to your responses after the 23rd. Cheers!

  • Heshan

    Since it is not possible to prove a negative, no one can prove that something doesn’t exist, or in other words, one can only fail to prove something exists;

    David Blacker understands neither logic nor history. What is surprising is that his inability to comprehend the substance of an argument spans such a broad range of issues. Any attempt at constructive debate with said individual is an exercise in futility, and should be avoided.

    For the sake of clarity, however, I would point out to readers that the following two questions can be construed as one and the same:

    (I) “Could you kindly tell us where you heard that Arya Chakravarty had a large naval force?”

    (II) “Could you kindly tell us where it is written that Arya Chakravarty did not have a naval force?”

    They are logically equivalent thanks to a double negation:

    ~~P = P.

    Those who are incapable of understanding such simple logic are not worthy of debate.

    • [Edited out.] Even if this was a maths formula and not a historical claim, where is this double negative? The existence of said navy is a positive; the non-existence is a negative; therefore a cancelling out of each other would equal a zero; and if zero is neither positive nor negative, neither exists. Therefore, as I said before, the absence of evidence is the evidence of absence. 😀

      [Edited out.]

    • yapa

      What a clever misunderstanding/misinterpretation and a joke of an intellectual. Heshan, Are you serious about your argument? Or another cunning mischief to creep though the ears of the people?

      Tell me then how do you repulse the clever example of Blacker,

      “For instance, since no evidence exists that Jesus spoke against masturbation, some might conclude that Jesus advocated masturbation.”

      You should not try to fight hard when you are taken from your neck, it might threaten your very life.

      Thanks!

    • TT

      Heshan,

      One who asserts must prove. The onus is on you.

      You have to prove if ACs had a large navy.

      If someone says, “ancient SLs visited USA prior to the christian era”, he must prove it. No one on earth can prove otherwise. But does that mean “ancient SLs visited USA prior to the christian era”? No!

      In scientific terms absence of proof is taken as positive proof of absence.

  • Heshan

    Dear Yapa,

    What you quoted there is filthy and third-class language from a 3rd rate mind. It is not an example even worth discussing. For someone with a mathematics degree such as yourself, I would have expected much better. If that is the manner in which you also reason and formulate arguments, then I will have no choice but to form a different opinion of you. Hopefully I will not have to. Cheers!

    P.S: I hope you are not one of the standardisation geniuses.

    • yapa

      Dear Heshan;

      Sorry Heshan, if your feelings were hurt, I didn’t mean it. I was referring only to the epistemological side of Blacker’s example. If we forget the moral side of it, it countered your argument to the point. In that line no doubt Blacker was very sharp and clever, that was all what I wanted to tell.

      Further, Blacker too replaced the example, after you showed your opposition to it. I think this was an indication that his intention too was not to hurt you.

      Don’t take it serious.

      Thanks!

  • Heshan

    TT,

    You are correct in that I did not actually prove anything. I asked him to answer his own question. On the other hand, it was not me who directly asserted that AC had a navy. Notice that I quoted from elsewhere.

  • Heshan

    TT,

    In any event, here is the answer to Wijayapala’s question:

    The command of Arya Chakravartis was reconfirmed by Ibn Batutta, who describes their supreme naval power. Arya Chakravarti provided guides for Ibn Batutta in his journey to Sri Pada. Batutta says he has seen nearly hundreds of ships at the port he descended to Lanka. (believed to be between Mannar and Puttalum – inclusive of both points) This might be an exaggeration but, it indicates the sort of power Arya Chakravartis yielded.

    http://bandaragama.wordpress.com/2008/03/page/2/

    • wijayapala

      Prof Heshan,

      Thank you for answering my question after 4 days. I did not expect you to create such a grand epistemological discussion from such a simple question, only to answer it through a blog entry. Once again I bow to your supreme intellect.

      Although David Blacker clearly has a 3rd rate mind when compared with your own, we have to admit that his comments on Jesus and masturbation are quite consistent with this thread’s topic of insulting religions. As far as I can tell, that was Kusal’s intent, NOT ethnic reconciliation as some may believe.

    • wijayapala

      Dear yapa,

      Sorry I missed your earlier post. Although the below does not really stick with Kusal’s topic of insulting Buddhism, I hope it shows how a proper understanding of history can bring our communities together instead of dividing them:

      Arya Chakravarthi was a Tamil invader who invaded Sri Lanka and ruled the Jaffna peninsula by force.

      This period of history is very unclear and it is hard to make a clear judgment. Culavamsa simply states that Arya Chakravarthy conquered Yapahuwa and seized the Tooth Relic. Tamil chronicles on the other hand claim that after Kalinga Magha (or Chandrabhanu), the people of Jaffna had no ruler and asked the Pandyans to send a prince. K.M. de Silva claims that the Dambadeniya kings asked the Pandyans for help to defeat Chandrabhanu, and afterwards the Pandyans installed their own minister in Jaffna.

      I think it is more clear that we cannot say a particular kingdom or civilisation is “legitimate” based on historical events like invasions. Mahavamsa claims that Sinhalese invaded Sri Lanka 2500 years ago. Does that mean Anuradhapura civilisation was not legitimate?

      The Tamil chronicles trace Tamil civilisation in Sri Lanka not to Arya Chakravarty, but further back to Kalinga Magha who certainly invaded Sri Lanka and conclusively ended the Rajarata civilisation. But the medieval Tamils claimed that Magha was a distant relative of Vijaya who also originally hailed from Kalinga region (Nissanka Malla was a non-Sinhala king of Polonnaruwa who also claimed to be related to Vijaya). In other words, these Tamils saw the connection with Vijaya as giving them legitimacy in Sri Lanka, showing that Tamil civilisation in Sri Lanka, far from being simply a “foreign invasion” was clearly integrated with the traditions of the island while having unique characteristics from the previous civilisations in Rajarata and its successors in Dambadeniya, Kotte etc.

      The medieval Tamils’ own version of history clearly refutes the “Tamil Eelam” or “separate Tamil nation” notion, at least historically. The Jaffna kings did not claim to be rulers of merely Tamil areas but rather the entire island, and they based their legitimacy on their claimed connection with Vijaya (who probably was not even a real person). The Tamils are no more “foreign” to SL than the Sinhalese.

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala;

        Sorry, I couldn’t reply your post due to some unavoidable circumstances.

        In my post what I tried to emphasize was the claim of so called “Tamil homeland” has no legitimacy, as all the so called rulers of so called Jaffna kingdom were invaders, taken the area by force or the decedents them. My argument was if you consider invasions as legitimate, then the Jaffna kndom belongs to Britishers and if it is illegitimate, then it belongs to Sinhalese rulers.

        http://groundviews.org/2011/01/11/political-opposition-in-a-nihilistic-sinhala-society-responses-and-clarifications/comment-page-1/#comment-27152

        But as per my understanding you tried to counter my argument on three fronts.

        1. Creating a doubt to imply that Aryachakravarthi was not an invader.

        2. As Vijaya was an invader, Aryachakravarthi’s invasion is justifiable to be a legitimate ruler.

        3. Aryachakravarthi’s relationship to Vijaya and Nissankamalla.

        1. In your response you have accepted Magha as an invader. Then you accept Chandrabhanu has taken the rule after chasing Magha. Chandabhanu I think, you will not reject the notion that he is an invader, as he was a person came from Thailand with an army to conquer a land that did not belong to him. Aryachakravarthi chased away Chandabhanu and established the Tamil rule again.

        Even if Dambadeniya kings asked the Pandyans for help to defeat Chandrabhanu as you have said, what is the right Aryachakravarthi has to stay and rule the region he freed from chandabhanu for Dambadeniya kings? If a friend of yours chases away a person staying at your home by force, should your be given your house to your friend? I don’t see any fair reason for that.

        Further, I don’t see any reason why people in a part of this country (in Jaffna peninsula) to ask for a prince in another country to rule them, even if they didn’t have a ruler for that area at that time. A few years back (before Magha) they didn’t have a separate ruler. On the other hand Aryachakravarthi was a tribute paying ruler for Pandyan kingdom. Do you think the people would invite a king to pay their wealth to an alien king of a different country? On the other hand do you think people have a right to invite an alien ruler to rule a part of their country? Do you think they couldn’t have found a person from the rest of the country to rule them?

        I think in this line you cannot justify that Aryachakravarthi was not an invader and hence cannot go through my question of double contradictions with safe, to say that Tamil homeland is justifiable.

        2. You are trying I should say to mis-interpret Mahawansa by saying “Mahavamsa claims that Sinhalese invaded Sri Lanka 2500 years ago.”
        Can you please show where it is mentioned so in the Mahawansa? I am sorry to say that it is a your version of the Mahawansa.

        Really, Vijaya and his “gang” was expelled and sent in vessels as a punishment to their misdeeds. Vijaya didn’t come to here with the intension of invading this country. Vijaya’s gang was not an army. On the other hand he established a lineage to kingship after he married a “prince” from the “royal family”, Kuveni. Not only that Kuveni was the key to get it for Vijaya.

        So Vijaya’s invasion theory has no ground as you claimed and therefore, does not justify the legitimacy of an invader. Cancelling off an invader for another invader is a failed theory in this case.

        3. Your claim to legitimate Aryachakravarthi’s invasion by trying to relate them to “legitimate kings” of Sri Lanka itself is a good evidence to negate your argument. Your claim that Nissankamalla was not a Sinhalese but has a Tamil connection is an evidence that Sinhalese did not refuse even non Sinhalese kings when they had a right to the thrown. We have enough evidence for that and we have many Tamil kings who were accepted by Sinhalese as their legitimate kings. The Last kings upward from Sri Wickrama Rajasinha were not Sinhalese. But they never were invaders who invaded them by force coming with an army. All those “aliens” who came here with an army and tried to rule by force were considered as invaders and even “aliens” who came here having even a slightest lineage right were accepted as legitimate rulers.
        All the invaders were shown resistance by the natives of this country and chased away even after several hundred years. This happened to Portuguese, this happened to Dutch, this happened to Britishers, why an exception for other invaders?

        As you said I accept that proper understanding of history can bring our communities together instead of dividing them. But I don’t accept that even with the good intension of bringing our communities together, we should be victims for unsound theories. Can you remember once I said we should build our foundation on hard realities, not on quick sand. I still believe so. We should not give in even a bit for unfair endavours, how hard they are. We should build our nation on hard realities only.

        Thanks!

  • Heshan

    Wijayapala:

    I have no issues if you insult Christianity, as that is your right. However, when you use obscene language to do so in a public forum, it reveals some rather unfortunate things about your character , level of education, and upbringing. I kindly suggest that you find more appropriate ways to express your feelings.

    Note: I kindly request Groundviews from now on to edit all posts that contain the word 09209204on, irrespective of the context. Apologies, but I cannot type that word. In any event, it reflects very poorly on the quality of the website, and also deviates entirely from any purposeful discussion.

    • In the words of the Bible, Rev Heshan, “God is not mocked”. Only so-called Christians like you who mistake the trappings of Christianity (as you mistake the trappings of democracy) for the essence of it.

      If the word masturbation offends you, let me use a different one; since the New Testament doesn’t say that Jesus didn’t marry, and since He himself didn’t speak against marriage, should we assume that Jesus married?

    • SD

      Come on Heshan! You can’t be serious? Did your priest, in his medieval wisdom, conjure up images of hellfire for so much as daring to spell “masturbation”?

      Studies show that masturbation is fine and dandy, common to many species, and a natural part of growing up, and is remarkably superior to the unnatural practice of sodomizing young children and acting all innocent, as is the practice of certain unnaturally frustrated members of the church. (http://www.project-reason.org/vatican_justice/)

      So cheer up, 09209204on is nothing to squirm about.

      • wijayapala

        Excuse me,

        As Prof Heshan had very clearly explained elsewhere, he is proud that he was raised as an Anglican and thus it is a grave insult to associate him with the Catholic Church. It is this Anglican upbringing that has provided him such a keen intellect to discern the inferiority of other religions such as Catholicism or “Heenayana” Buddhism (although Catholicism is not so bad as it acknowledges Singularity as Heshan pointed out). Therefore I demand an immediate apology to Prof Heshan for this unjust misidentification.

      • wijayapala

        Admiral Heshan

        However, when you use obscene language to do so in a public forum, it reveals some rather unfortunate things about your character , level of education, and upbringing.

        You have left out race and religion which as you taught me play an even more important role in determining a person’s worth. You have taught us that the White Man is superior. But now I am confused as you are fighting with someone having some White ancestry and a White name. It is very possible that one of your ancestors, given a prestigious doorman post in exchange for embracing the White Man’s religion, had opened the door for one of Blacker’s ancestors. Hence I would expect you to show some respect for Blacker the same way that I show you (since none of my Heenayana ancestors was worthy of being a doorman).

        On the other hand, even though it is a blog post, he is quoting directly from the writings of Ibn Battuta , the famous traveler.

        That is all the more reason to reject this statement, because Ibn Battuta was a Muslim whom you have already judged to be inferior. It would be different if he had an Anglican upbringing.

      • SD

        Quite right, Wijayapala. My bad Heshan.
        Here’s a more relevant link.
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1566826/C-of-E-child-abuse-was-ignored-for-decades.html

        In any case, condoms and masturbation are a good thing.
        Disease, overpopulation and child molestation are bad.
        Simple?

        Apparently not, because the churches’ inability to grasp this simple wisdom has resulted in a virtual genocide in poor African countries (the sins of condom use) and tens of thousands of cases of child molestation being actively swept under the carpet, and all this without even having to count the dark ages.

        Suddenly, Buddhism is starting to look better and better no? So maybe Kusal blaming the Heenayana Buddhist mindset for all of Sri Lanka’s evils, is a bit much no? The Buddhist mentality is relatively not all that bad no?

        Why not focus on specific things Kusal, and provide a more rigorous analysis, as Suren suggested. We are all having a hard-time (even those of us who generally enjoy bashing religion) figuring out what exactly Buddhism isn’t responsible for in Sri Lanka?

  • Heshan

    I did not expect you to create such a grand epistemological discussion from such a simple question, only to answer it through a blog entry.

    Once again, I must question your ability to use the English language. In the original post, the word “arguably” was used to describe AC’s powerful navy. Arguably means it is disputable. In the second post, he mentions that Ibn may have been “exaggerating.” So, the author of the blog post never claims to be absolutely correct.

    On the other hand, even though it is a blog post, he is quoting directly from the writings of Ibn Battuta , the famous traveler. This is the case because Ibn Battuta only wrote one book.

  • ordinary lankan

    Thank you Suren Raghavan and The Mervyn Silva – lots of sense in your posts and I have copied them for further ref.

    heena manaya – rather than heenayana is the problem – and I suspect it is that heena manaya that made the honourable author deliberately choose heenayana over theravada in describing the buddhism of SL. He knows that it is taken by local buddhists in an adverse way. I must say I am surprised at the editorial policies of groundviews on this subject – but hopefully they know best. My humble thoughts are penned below in verse –

    Don’t confuse heenayana with heena mana
    The concepts are different
    But yes…
    The poverty of heenayana
    Is real and true
    All of us must begin there
    So after you become rich
    Would you turn back and despise
    Those humble beginnings?
    Don’t growl
    At those below
    Lend a helping hand
    And if necessary
    Join them at their level
    Then you might realize
    You are only helping yourself
    If you are averse to heenayana
    Take a close look
    You may still be poor at heart
    Don’t be too sharp
    You will cut others
    And yourself too
    Blame others
    And fall below heenayana
    Blame yourself
    And become heenayana

  • Kusal Perera

    My article and my response thereafter, have created a loud brawl, way outside the content and argument, that unfortunately does not serve any purpose now with a rabidly racist quarter dozen barging into demand answers for their old and worn out “Sinhala Buddhist” statements. They demand, we only provide answers that would satisfy their psyche and have denied others from indulging in a broader, more intelligent discussion. Unfortunately for us, their questions had been answered and laid aside decades ago, but are nevertheless being carried through by the Sinhala opinion leaders for want of ethno religious dominance in Sri Lankan politics. That “fossilisation” by itself is a problem in Sri Lankan politics. Thus it now serves no purpose in answering childishly sarcastic and arrogantly opinionated comments from this extremist, endemically racist few. All that could be told to them and their like is, “there is no problem being a ‘frog’, but not in a well. Try getting onto a tree, where the world can be seen better and fuller”.
    – Kusal Perera

    • wijayapala

      Dear Kusal

      My article and my response thereafter, have created a loud brawl, way outside the content and argument

      I apologise for digressing to Arya Chakravarty and Jaffna civilisation. I have tried to steer the conversation back to your topic of insulting religions and to some degree have succeeded.

      Perhaps if you were looking for a more intellectual discussion, it would have helped if you had written a more thought-provoking article! Do you blame your Heenayana upbringing on your inability to do so?

  • Heshan

    Vener Wijayapala,

    I am glad you have such a high opinion of a war criminal. Usually the children of priests do not participate in war, but apparently this one had a morbid fascination with Sinhala-Buddhism, and so could not resist the urge. He is a true Son of The Soil (in particular if you compare him to Traitor Ranil). I nominate him to a high position in HE Mahinda Rajapakse’s cabinet, where in true Heenayana style, he is given full permission to tie traitors to trees and sell import Pajero’s at concessionary duty-free rates.

    • wijayapala

      Prof Heshan

      I am glad you have such a high opinion of a war criminal.

      And I am glad that you have such a high opinion of JR Jayawardene who started the war! I am still amazed how little value you place on Tamils’ lives.

    • “Usually the children of priests do not participate in war”

      Lol, more truthiness from Rear Admiral Heshan. Actually, I wasn’t the only son of a clergyman to fight in this war: Lt Col Rohan Induruwa, one of the toughest officers to ever serve in the Sinha Regiment is the son of Rev Induruwa of the Methodist Church.

      In addition, Stephen Crane, the famous war correspondent and author of The Red Badge of Courage was the son of a Methodist minister. Gudrun Ensslin, co-founder of the Bader-Meinhoff Group was the daughter of a Protestant pastor. Camilla Hall of the Symbionese Liberation Army was the daughter of a Lutheran minister. Condoleezza Rice, one of the architects of the War on Terror is the daughter of a Presbyterian minister. SS-Brigadefuhrer Gustav Scheel was the son of an Evangelical pastor. Maj Gen Orde Wingate, commander of the Chindits, was raised in a strict Christian home.

      Like all generalisations, this one fails too. Is there nothing you can get right, Heshan? 😀

  • ordinary lankan

    Actually this honourable author has peformed a signal service by provoking some thought into what is heenayana.

    Why do we need to get on a narrow vehicle?

    Heenayana is of national and also universal significance when you extract its objective and human evolutionary content. Heenayana represents a shift from scapegoatism and verious blame trips into a one way ticket back to your own self. You exchange ambitious programmes for changing the world into ONE clear cut and realistic and very economical programme for changing your own self. it requires a great deal of humility to embark on this path. This is the reason why many people – including sri lankan buddhists AND non buddhists never get anywhere close to heenayana. THE LACK OF THE SAME SENSE OF HUMBLE INTROSPECTION THAT THE LEARNED AUTHOR DERIDED AND RIDICULED AS BEING SOCIALLY BACKWARD SEEMS TO BE ONE CLEAR REASON WHY PEOPLE CANNOT EVEN HAVE A REASONABLE DISCUSSION WITHOUT INSULTING EACH OTHER. So while introversion should not be taken to an extreme it is certainly an important aspect – especially if we want to see ourselves clearly.

    Generally idealistic, egoistic and ambitious people – as all of us are or were – seek happiness within the family and in society outside by trying to tinker with various solutions and ideas that would essentially make other people behave upto our own expectations. we demand standards and we become very disappointed when others dont please us by making us happy. Indeed the last intemperate post of the learned author is a classic example of this mindset.

    So the narrow vehicle basically helps us to narrow the field and develop a strong personal and experiential base to work from – and once you do this you can expand the vehicle into engagement and helping others. The reason why people here seem to be stuck in heenayana is not a lack of brains and intelligence but a lack of warmth and compassion. So when people like this learned oauthor strikes a very intelligent whip to push people on to broader scale thinking he tends as Suren R said to create more Dharmapala’s and Soma’s who will allege that these westernized types are out to get them.

    The content may be good – but if it is not expressed properly the opportunity of having a sober discussion is lost. Is this what GV would like to have?

  • Heshan

    SD,

    Interesting link but totally irrelevant. The problem with your example is that the Catholic Church lost its control and influence over the West a few hundred years ago. So your attempt to generalize condom use (or there lack of) and molestation from group (A) (Catholic Church) to group (B) (West) lacks a basis. On the other hand, the Maha Sangha has not lost its influence over Sinhalese society and Sri Lankan politics, despite a 2500 year lapse. As far as deviant sexual behavior goes, the single largest group of homosexuals I have come across happens to hail from Southern Sri Lanka. Didn’t I tell you S. Lanka has far worse problems than the LTTE? 🙂 Now, I am not suggesting the gays be discriminated against, but there must be something rather sick in the Southern Sinhalese culture if such a large number of individuals are gay. Anyway, the point I’m making is that the molestation you blame the Catholic Church for has parallels to certain behaviors which occur with high frequency in the South of SL.

    • SD

      Dear Heshan,

      RE: “As far as deviant sexual behavior goes, the single largest group of homosexuals I have come across happens to hail from Southern Sri Lanka. Didn’t I tell you S. Lanka has far worse problems than the LTTE? “

      Actually no, I don’t find homosexuality to be a problem at all. In fact, I actively encourage it – leaves more women for me 😉

      Ok, ok, a little more seriously Heshan – when and how did you perform this scientific study on southern Sri Lanka, what sample size did you use and more importantly, did you go knocking door to door to find out what their sexual preferences were?

      Or did you, once again, randomly bump into two gay guys on the beach and extrapolate from that magnificently representative sample, that most people in southern Sri Lanka were gay? Fine, to your credit, at least the sample was random.

      RE: “Anyway, the point I’m making is that the molestation you blame the Catholic Church for has parallels to certain behaviors which occur with high frequency in the South of SL.”

      But that’s precisely the point I’ve been trying to highlight Heshan. Only the scripture-addled mind of a faith-head would be depraved enough to think that
      a. Homosexuality is a sickness
      b. That consensual sex between two homosexual adults is somehow even equatable to molestation of children from adults they trust

      I stand by my statement, the world is probably better off with Buddhism than Christianity, even if the Buddhism in SL is a little on the loony side.

    • wijayapala

      Prof Heshan

      Now, I am not suggesting the gays be discriminated against, but there must be something rather sick in the Southern Sinhalese culture if such a large number of individuals are gay.

      Are you aware that there are a number of key unnamed opposition leaders, one of whom you adore (!), who are homosexual?

      Whom do you hate more, gays or Muslims? How do you feel about gay Muslims- do you hate them twice as much, or does the hatred cancel itself out?

  • Heshan

    Honourable Wijayapala:

    That is all the more reason to reject this statement, because Ibn Battuta was a Muslim whom you have already judged to be inferior.

    Even your hero Anagarika Dharmapala agrees with me, and you can be sure he would never cast a ballot for Traitor Ranil or the UNP:


    According to the prophetic utterance of our Lord, the Dhamma, shedding lustre in its purity,lasted for 1,000 years in India, and then began the decline following the law of disintegration five hundreds later, when it was brought into contact with the cohorts of Allah, whose fire and sword played havoc with the followers of our Blessed Tathagato. The ruins in Bamian, Central Turkestan, Afghanistan, Kandahar, Kashmir, the Gangetic Valley, and in distant Java, testify to the extirpation of the great religion by the iconoclastic Arabs, fresh in their zeal for the glrofication of the ‘Prophet of Arabia.”

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/39128648/Anagarika-H-Dharmapala-The-Essence-of-Buddhism

    I don’t usually agree with Dharmapala, but he is correct in this case; the damage that the Muslims inflicted upon the Asian subcontinent is one of the greatest catastrophes in history.

    • wijayapala

      Kusal Perera, do you endorse Prof Heshan’s above views about Muslims? Should we interpret your silence as an affirmative?

      • Actually, Dharmapala shows nothing of the racism, contempt and bigotry displayed by Heshan in this forum. Dharmapala merely describes the defeat of Buddhism before the Muslim attacks. Heshan’s xenophobia, sexual repression and homophobia is pretty consistent with many Sri Lankans who’ve had bad experiences going through the boys’ schools set up by the Christian missionaries.

  • Heshan

    SD,

    Of course, it is one’s personal opinion whether homosexuality is “right” or “wrong”. However, objectively speaking, homosexuality is a behavior that deviates from the norm , and so is an abnormal behavior. Just like cigarette smoking, gambling, and alcohol, excessive indulgence in abnormal behavior is not without consequence. Homosexuality is no exception:

    “ATLANTA, Georgia, August 24, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the CDC’s estimate Monday that in the United States AIDS is fifty times more prevalent among men who have sex with men (‘MSM’) than the rest of the population. Dr. Amy Lansky revealed this statistic during a plenary session at the 2009 HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta.”

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2009/aug/09082609

    There is a simple medical explanation for the above, which is that homosexuals are more likely to engage in anal penetration during intercourse, which increases the risk of deadly pathogens entering the bloodstream. Anyway, it is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that said behavior (homosexuality) is risky.

    Ok, ok, a little more seriously Heshan – when and how did you perform this scientific study on southern Sri Lanka, what sample size did you use and more importantly

    We all know about the beach boys and child sex tourism. We all know how the police at checkpoints stopped teenage boys and did unwanted things. There is, however, a very simple explanation for the extremely high prevalence of homosexuality in Southern SL: that is the same-sex schools. You find a similar thing in prisons. Particularly in the earlier years, if young men are denied sufficient contact with the opposite gender, the impact can be devastating:

    In the late 1800s a man named Kraft Ebing was the leading theorist on sexual deviancy (deviancy here has nothing to do with morality but just has to do with sexual acts that don’t result in procreation). He did a lot of research into the causes of homosexuality and creates and convincing answer the the question, “Is homosexuality a choice or is it genetic.” Ebing says its both. In his most well known work Psychopathia Sexualis he writes that some people are born homosexual and others become homosexual. He points to same sex schooling as one of the ways to “create” a homosexual for just the reason that was posted earlier. Humans have a basic need for sexuality, if a young heterosexual boy is placed in a place where there are no women around to release his need for a sexual relationship than he will turn to those who are around him, other boys in the same predicament.

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Debate:Does_single_sex_schooling_promote_homosexuality%3F

    The high incidence of molestation in the Catholic Church can probably be blamed on a similar; sexual repression — > sexual frustration –> deviant sexual behavior. As you well know, Catholic priests are forbidden from marrying. On the other hand, non-Catholic (Protestant) priests are allowed to marry, and this high incidence of child abuse is not there:

    This same argument can then be expanded to explain sexual deviance among clergy in some denominations, who are segregated and thus prey on young boys as a result of sexual depravity. –TrueGrit 14:03, 9 October 2007 (EDT)

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Debate:Does_single_sex_schooling_promote_homosexuality%3F

    I stand by my statement, the world is probably better off with Buddhism than Christianity

    Pure Buddhism is too detached from reality to have any useful application. The humanistic principles that Jesus taught – while still there in Buddhism – are much easier to apply to everyday living. It is my personal experience, having studied and taught advanced mathematics for some time, that most people do not care for abstraction beyond a certain level. Usually, abstraction beyond a certain level does not agree with common sense, and this alone is enough to deter many people. There are also many subtleties which take a great deal of time to grasp. And finally, when one takes the theory as a whole, the parts which are applicable to reality can be understood (at a certain level) independently of the theory as a whole. Examples: calculus, computer programming (the syntax can be understood by anyone), arithmetic, even the written form of a language (while we may know a few rules of grammar, how much do we know about the actual structure of the language, e.g. why it “makes sense.”).

    So let me ask you again, what is the need to teach someone a philosophy like Buddhism, when it is understood in advance that they will most likely never comprehend it beyond an elementary level, and when the same desired effect (to teach a few morals) could be had with a much simpler system of thought, aka Christianity.

  • TT

    Heshan,

    You are linking two unrelated things.

    Bandaraga worpress is not a source at all!

    “Batutta says he has seen nearly hundreds of ships at the port he descended to Lanka.”

    These were not AC ships! Nowhere says so. SL has always been a shipping hub with ships from almost all parts of the world coming to the island.

    Anyway ACs were not a big threat to SL. They disappeared as they appeared! Somewhat like the Cholas who wielded much power but disappeared after a few centuries later.

    Nevertheless thanks for the info.

  • ordinary lankan

    I have tried hard to figure out why buddhists must be offended – as GV mentioned. it is all about intent. If this is the intent you will fail.

    If however you can do this without ill feeling the field is full of promise. Buddhist practice must be opened out to criticism starting with the hidebound caste distinctions that have been tolerated for so long. But then when you criticize buddhists what is the standard you are going to use other than buddhism itself?

    In this and other threads many attempts have been made to impugn buddhist practice and concepts and these have all been off the mark (in my view) because either the authors were too full of ill feeling or they had showed insufficient knowledge and exp of buddhism itself. I sincerely wish future attempts more success because buddhism IS in need of criticism – and even if this is not made in parliamentary language there has to be enough substance.

    Also is there anything called pure buddhism – as much as there is no pure christianity or pure islam – everything is what human beings search for and strive for and it is thereby tainted with human flaws. This is how the journey towards truth is made. In religious praxis there is a search for purity and some people may be more practical in this search than others – in every case it is a human situation.

    So labeling buddhism as ‘pure’ and unattainable is really giving the dog a bad name.

  • Heshan

    TT, You are linking two unrelated things.Bandaraga worpress is not a source at all!

    I never claimed Bandaragama wordpress was the source. That assertion can be attributed directly to Wijayapala’s poor internet skills. I said the source was Ibn Batutta (specifically his one and only book).

    Anyway ACs were not a big threat to SL. They disappeared as they appeared! Somewhat like the Cholas who wielded much power but disappeared after a few centuries later.

    Only if you believe Culavamsa.

  • Heshan

    Actually I am wrong on one point. Even Culavamsa mentions AC as a potent military force – that is what happens you rely on Wijayapala for information!

    Culavamsa mentions in detail the arrival and the conquest of the Sinhalese capital Yapahuwa by a minister named Aryacakravarti during the period 1277 to 1283. It also mentions that the minister carried away the Budha’s relic from the capital to Pandyan Kingdom.[23] The Rajavaliya a primary source written during the 17th century refers to the fact that the Aryacakravartis collected taxes from Udarata and southern lowlands.[24]

    Kotagama
    The Kotagama inscriptions found in Kegalle District are a record of victory left by the Aryacakravarti kings of the Jaffna Kingdom in western Sri Lanka.[28][29] The inscription was assigned to the 15th century by H.C.P. Bell, an archeologist, and Mudaliar Rasanayagam, based on paleographic analysis of the style of letters used. If this late date is to be accepted then this inscription stands in contrast to generally accepted theory based on Sinhalese literature that Alagakkonara the local chieftain who confronted the Aryacakravarti kings in 1391 was victorious in his effort.[28][30]

    InscriptionsLahugala

    Parakramabahu V (1344 – 59) a king of Gampola who ruled from Dedigama retreated to the southeast of the island, to a place called Magul Maha Viharaya in the Ampara District after a confrontation with the Aryacakravarti. This is evident from inscriptions in a place called Lahugala.[26]

    Medawela
    The Medawala inscriptions dated 1359 found near a bo-tree at Medawala in Harispattuva reveal that Martanda Cinkaiariyan appointed tax collectors to collect taxes from the villages belonging to the Gampola kingdom.[27]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryacakravarti_dynasty

    Disappeared as soon as they appeared indeed! I hope Wijayapala does not work for the archeology department, else his distortions will be a great hindrance to future posterity.

  • Heshan

    do you endorse Prof Heshan’s above views about Muslims? Should we interpret your silence as an affirmative?

    Had the Muslims ruled SL for even 500 years, the island would be drastically different from what you see today. They would have burned the viharas and executed the monks. The non-Muslims who refused to convert to Islam would have been beheaded or else forced to pay tribute (e.g. a heavy tax). The Buddha statues you find all over the place would have been destroyed, without doubt, as such images constitute idolatry according to Islamic belief (certainly, 100ft high ones are no exception!). This is what the Muslims did in India; why should SL be any different?

    “BABUR

    The scene shifted once mere to Delhi after Babur came out victorious against the Lodis and the Rajputs. The founder of the Mughal empire has received much acclaim from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for his fortitude in adversity, his daring against heavy odds, his swimming across many rivers, his love of flowers and fruits, and so on so forth. But his face, presented by himself in his Tuzuk-i-Bãburî, suffers irreparable damage if it is denuded of the rich hues of horrible cruelties in which he habitually indulged. The lurid details he provides of his repeated massacres of the infidels, leave no doubt that he was mighty proud of his performance. He was particularly fond of raising higher and higher towers of Hindu heads cut off during and after every battle he fought with them. He loved to sit in his royal tent to watch this spectacle. The prisoners were brought before him and butchered by his “brave” swordsmen. On one occasion, the ground flowed with so much blood and became so full of quivering carcases that his tent had to be moved thrice to a higher level. He lost no opportunity of capturing prisoners of war and amassing plunder. In the dynasty founded by him it was incumbent upon every king that he should style himself a Ghãzî, that is, slayer of infidels. When he broke vessels of wine on the eve of his battle with Rana Sangram Singh, he proclaimed that he would smash idols in a similar manner. And he destroyed temples wherever he saw them.

    SHER SHAH SUR

    Sher Shah Sur’s name is associated in our textbooks with the Grand Trunk Road from Peshawar to Dacca, with caravanserais, and several other schemes of public welfare. It is true that he was not a habitual persecutor of Hindus before he became the emperor at Delhi. But he did not betray Islam when he became the supreme ruler. The test came at Raisen in 1543 AD. Shaykh Nurul Haq records in Zubdat-ul-Tawãrîkh as follows: “In the year 950 H., Puranmal held occupation of the fort of Raisen… He had 1000 women in his harem… and amongst them several Musulmanis whom he made to dance before him. Sher Khan with Musulman indignation resolved to conquer the fort. After he had been some time engaged in investing it, an accommodation was proposed and it was finally agreed that Puranmal with his family and children and 4000 Rajputs of note should be allowed to leave the fort unmolested. Several men learned in the law (of Islam) gave it as their opinion that they should all be slain, notwithstanding the solemn engagement which had been entered into. Consequently, the whole army, with the elephants, surrounded Puranmal’s encampment. The Rajputs fought with desperate bravery and after killing their women and children and burning them, they rushed to battle and were annihilated to a man.”

    http://www.voiceofdharma.org/books/siii/ch7.htm

    On the other hand, it would be interesting to see the reaction of “Wijayapala” and other patriots, had the above scenario occurred in Taprobane. Does Mr. Wijayapala believe the Muslims would have begun a “Theosophical Society” for the promotion of Buddhism? Does he believe the Muslims would have created schools and a cash-flow economy to improve the livelihoods of the natives? Since Mr. Wijayapala clearly professes a high opinion of Islam, answers to the above – in the affirmative, of course – are most welcome from him.

  • ordinary lankan

    Heshan

    pl see my response above to your statement –

    QUOTE

    Pure Buddhism is too detached from reality to have any useful application.

    QUOTE

    THANKS

  • wijayapala

    Prof Heshan

    Even Culavamsa mentions AC as a potent military force – that is what happens you rely on Wijayapala for information!

    After you calm down, kindly show us where any of your information mentions that Jaffna had “a large naval force.” My question did not cover the Chakravarties’ army at all.

  • Heshan

    Wijayapala:

    Are you aware that there are a number of key unnamed opposition leaders, one of whom you adore (!), who are homosexual?

    Whom do you hate more, gays or Muslims?

    You actually contradict yourself there – by trying to portray a certain politician as gay, when in fact no evidence exists to support the aforementioned phenomenon – you are expressing hostility towards the gay community. It is the equivalent of my calling you a female if you were unable to complete a physical task (which by inference would imply I considered females to be less physically able than males). For the record, I don’t “hate” Muslims. I simply consider a certain sizable segment of them to be threats to the civilized world, just as I do many of your nationalist comrades. The difference is that Muslims are much more organized and have far superior financial resources to execute their madness.

    After you calm down, kindly show us where any of your information mentions that Jaffna had “a large naval force.” My question did not cover the Chakravarties’ army at all.

    You are dodging the question You said AC’s posed no threat to any of the Sinhalese kingdoms – a point which I have clearly contradicted. This is what you said:

    Anyway ACs were not a big threat to SL. They disappeared as they appeared!

    I clearly mentioned how AC’s were able to sack the Sinhalese capital and collect tribute from Sinhalese peasants.

    By the way, you dodged the answer to my hypothetical scenario. What would SL be like if the Muslims had ruled it for 500 years?
    Since you are not fond of the Europeans, I am offering you an alternative.

    • “What would SL be like if the Muslims had ruled it for 500 years?”

      Spain was ruled by Muslims for over 700 years and “For large parts of its history, particularly under the Caliphate of Córdoba, al-Andalus was a beacon of learning, and the city of Córdoba became one of the leading cultural and economic centres”

      Better than being under those dumb Christians, eh?

  • ordinary lankan

    Kusal Perera says

    QUOTE

    If not the globally accepted human and democratic rights, what choice ? If not the internationally accepted concepts of representative and participatory democracy, what choice ?

    UNQUOTE

    Unless we bring this concept down to earth – and make it real we will continue to be lost like this …. and in failing to make it real there has been a dual failure

    The two streams that flowed since independence – the english speaking ‘cultur’ stream and the vernacular speaking ‘haramanis’ stream that became official in 1956 have BOTH failed. It is necessary to get this basic fact right.

    In fact we can do a superb study of the way our english speaking intellectuals and professionals misunderstood human rights and allied concepts in relation to their application here and created a huge muddle in the minds of society about the very idea of rights, freedom etc. people like lasantha wickramatunga pursued a course based on non existent rights and paid the ultimate price.

    what i want to stress is that the winds were blowing in the opposite direction very clearly since 1977 and during this violent transition from a popular democracy to a feudal dictatorship the english speaking inteligentsia played a huge contributory role by cashing in on all kinds of new ‘human rights’ and going on their own ego trips.

    There may be exceptions of course but by and large if you look at the human rights, womens rights and child rights sectors you will find a legacy of pathetic failure.

    The Buddhist mindset was another factor – and it is very important to revive the critical tradition within the heart of buddhism itself –

    when that happens I would say that the critical gaze will inevitably fall on every other concept that the ruling elites are exploiting as a convenient facade.

    Please note that no concept including Buddhism is above question – i marvel at the way you elevate your preferred set of secular norms to a position that is above critical analysis –

    we should not accept anything unless it serves the poor and marginalized. Unless it addresses their hunger and other basic needs. Unless it accords with our own realities.

  • wijayapala

    Dear yapa

    In my post what I tried to emphasize was the claim of so called “Tamil homeland” has no legitimacy, as all the so called rulers of so called Jaffna kingdom were invaders,

    The historical claim of “Tamil homeland” has no legitimacy because it never existed. The Jaffna kingdom never was anything remotely resembling “Tamil Eelam.” I am disagreeing with you primarily because by equating Jaffna kingdom with “Tamil Eelam,” you are in agreement with the Eelamists and only disagree whether the Jaffna kingdom was “legitimate.” You are diverting the attention away from the fact that the Jaffna kingdom did not see itself as “Tamil Only” or anti-Sinhala, more or less as a “nation.”

    The secondary reason why I disagree with you is that the notion that the Tamils are invaders has been used by Sinhala racists to justify discrimination and even violence against them. Regardless of whether or not the ancient Tamils were primarily invaders, the modern Tamils are not the same as them and cannot be compared to them.

    Even if Dambadeniya kings asked the Pandyans for help to defeat Chandrabhanu as you have said, what is the right Aryachakravarthi has to stay and rule the region he freed from chandabhanu for Dambadeniya kings?

    Maybe because the Dambadeniya (and later) kings were unable to exercise authority that far north? You are forgetting (or don’t know) that the years between 1215 and about 1500 CE was a period of decline for Sinhala civilisation. The Tamils cannot be blamed for this because Rajarata in previous centuries had managed to recover from invasions. Also the notion of borders was far far less fixed than it is today.

    Further, I don’t see any reason why people in a part of this country (in Jaffna peninsula) to ask for a prince in another country to rule them, even if they didn’t have a ruler for that area at that time.

    That was the normal practice in neighboring India. At that time, Dambadeniya was just as alien to Jaffna as Madurai.

    On the other hand Aryachakravarthi was a tribute paying ruler for Pandyan kingdom. Do you think the people would invite a king to pay their wealth to an alien king of a different country?

    Sinhala rulers very often paid tribute to alien kings.

    In any case, that arrangement did not last long after Aryachakravarthy became an independent ruler and Pandyan power collapsed.

    Really, Vijaya and his “gang” was expelled and sent in vessels as a punishment to their misdeeds. Vijaya didn’t come to here with the intension of invading this country. Vijaya’s gang was not an army. On the other hand he established a lineage to kingship after he married a “prince” from the “royal family”, Kuveni. Not only that Kuveni was the key to get it for Vijaya.

    It makes no difference what Vijaya’s original intentions were (assuming that he actually existed). The fact remains that he was an outsider to Sri Lanka and drove away the people who had created a civilisation in Sri Lanka. In many Sinhala folk versions of the story (non-Mahavamsa), Vijaya is depicted as the villain not the hero.

    All the invaders were shown resistance by the natives of this country and chased away even after several hundred years. This happened to Portuguese, this happened to Dutch, this happened to Britishers, why an exception for other invaders?

    Except that after 1850, the people stopped resisting the British. Could you explain why?

    Can you remember once I said we should build our foundation on hard realities, not on quick sand.

    I agree with that entirely. I see your argument that the Tamils were invaders, but the Sinhalese under Vijaya were not invaders, as quick sand.

  • wijayapala

    Prof Heshan

    This is what you said:
    Anyway ACs were not a big threat to SL. They disappeared as they appeared!

    I did not say that. TT had said that on January 25 @7.10am. On the same day @10.38pm you responded to that point of his.

    You actually contradict yourself there..you are expressing hostility towards the gay community.

    The only reason that I am hostile towards the gay community is because you are hostile to them. I am just trying to think like you!

    The difference is that Muslims are much more organized and have far superior financial resources to execute their madness.

    I respectfully disagree. I believe the gay community could be a greater threat because of their hidden nature. They probably have a secret conspiracy organised. They have more money because unlike straight people, they don’t have to waste any of their income on children.

    You also have not addressed the frightening potential of gay Muslims. It is quite obvious that they are at the lead of the anti-Christian activities that you are so concerned about. They will one day rebuild Sodom and Gomorrah and force God-fearing souls like you and me to have un-Christian relations with them. I am imagining the tragic expression on your face as this is transpiring.

    Since you are not fond of the Europeans, I am offering you an alternative.

    The only reason I am upset with the Europeans is because they helped produce people like Blacker who disagree with us. Blacker has no appreciation at all for the level of self-loathing that you and I had to develop against our culture and roots. You and I have no European ancestry and thus our self-hatred HAS to be 100%. I have to admit that because of my lack of an Anglican upbringing, I am only at 75%. That is why you look down on me.

    • yapa

      Dear wijayapala;

      “The historical claim of “Tamil homeland” has no legitimacy because it never existed. The Jaffna kingdom never was anything remotely resembling “Tamil Eelam.” I am disagreeing with you primarily because by equating Jaffna kingdom with “Tamil Eelam,” you are in agreement with the Eelamists and only disagree whether the Jaffna kingdom was “legitimate.””

      But dear wijayapala, I am not equating “Jaffna kingdom” with “Tamil Eelam”, but I am opposing both. Traditional “Tamil Homeland Advocates/Ealamists” do it citing “Jaffna Kingdom” to legitimize their claim for “modern traditional homeland”, Tamil Eelam. The false concept “Jaffna Kingdom” is the basis for their argument for Separate Tamil Eelam. If you oppose Tamil Eelam, as said above, you invariably have to oppose the “Jaffna Kingdom”, idea too.

      I don’t understand your argument that I am agreeing with Eelamists when I oppose both of their core ideas?

      “You are diverting the attention away from the fact that the Jaffna kingdom did not see itself as “Tamil Only” or anti-Sinhala, more or less as a “nation.””

      This is a very peculiar conclusion. I have never said and will never say Jaffna Kingdom was a Tamil only, one. You can see that is really against my core argument. Really there were only a few Tamils in Jaffna peninsula, when Aryachakravarthi invaded it. The it was a Sinhalese dominant area. There were only a few Tamil settlers in there at that time. This fact intensifies that Aryachakravarthi was an invader.

      “The secondary reason why I disagree with you is that the notion that the Tamils are invaders has been used by Sinhala racists to justify discrimination and even violence against them.”

      I have never said Tamils are invaders, but Tamils have invaded this country throughout the history, it is a fact. Do you say this is not so? However,wrong usage does not deny the facts. But I never want to use the facts in a wrong manner. Your argument does not oppose using the facts for correct purposes, as I do, I suppose.

      Further, it is a fact that there are some Tamil people who are descending from the invader fore-fathers, but most of the Tamils in North and East are decedents of the Tamils brought here by Dutch and British colonials to work in their plantations. Most of the Tamils in north and east do not have a history over a few centuries, and none can name them as invaders. These are the facts, however, despite those facts I have never said they have less rights than Sinhalese in this country. What I am opposing is the notion that Tamils have more rights and privileges than Sinhalese. Sinhalese have never claimed to have exclusive rights for a particular piece of land in this country, despite their long ancestry at least over 2500 years.

      “Regardless of whether or not the ancient Tamils were primarily invaders, the modern Tamils are not the same as them and cannot be compared to them.”

      I think you can see how I am agreeing with you with this notion of yours in the previous paragraph of mine.

      “Maybe because the Dambadeniya (and later) kings were unable to exercise authority that far north? You are forgetting (or don’t know) that the years between 1215 and about 1500 CE was a period of decline for Sinhala civilisation. The Tamils cannot be blamed for this because Rajarata in previous centuries had managed to recover from invasions. Also the notion of borders was far far less fixed than it is today.”

      Really Tamil invaders must have the blame for it, those invasions are the main reason for the instability of the country in that period. You also will agree that even though the borders were far, before that instability created by invaders, even the far borders were ruled by Sinhalese kings.

      “That was the normal practice in neighboring India.

      Why should a normal practice of India, be practiced here by invaders? On the other hand how come an Indian practice is entertained by the people of Sri Lanka to request for kings from India? Is it not fairer to think that the request also came from where the practice was originated.

      “At that time, Dambadeniya was just as alien to Jaffna as Madurai.”

      Then why the preference for Madurai? Anyway, I never heard such a notion before, from where did you get that idea? Is there any evidence to back the notion?

      “Sinhala rulers very often paid tribute to alien kings.”

      They did that under unavoidable circumstances, not like Arya chakravarthi. Aryachakravarthi paid tributes to a friendly king, “His Master”. But Sinhala kings did it unwillingly.

      You think giving your emptying your purse willingly and giving it at a gun point are similar?

      “In any case, that arrangement did not last long after Aryachakravarthy became an independent ruler and Pandyan power collapsed.”

      This again is an evidence that Aryachakravarthi waq an invader. He became independent when the Pandyan kingdom Which was spread towards the middle part of India was collapsed. Pandya kingdom was built invading many foreign land in both India and Sri Lanka, and “Aryachakravarthi’s Jaffna kingdom was a part of that Pandyan kingdom, that itself says that Aryachakravarthi was an invader.

      “It makes no difference what Vijaya’s original intentions were (assuming that he actually existed). The fact remains that he was an outsider to Sri Lanka and drove away the people who had created a civilisation in Sri Lanka. In many Sinhala folk versions of the story (non-Mahavamsa), Vijaya is depicted as the villain not the hero.”

      Why not? I have given many examples. Many Sinhala and Tamils were accepted as legitimate kings on the basis of the right to royal lineage. It was an accepted tradition throughout the history.

      “Except that after 1850, the people stopped resisting the British. Could you explain why?”

      What about the period before that? Britishers were resisted. Britishers destroyed our capacity to resist by using very devastative tactics on Sinhalese. They were deprived of everything. Their land were taken by force. Their economy was devastated by destroying paddy fields, tanks and their human resource by massacring all the males including small boys. There also may be unknown reason to me.

      “I agree with that entirely. I see your argument that the Tamils were invaders, but the Sinhalese under Vijaya were not invaders, as quick sand.”

      It is an incorrect understanding that I argue Tamils are invaders. I explained my position above. I firmly believe that there are some Tamils who are descending from invaders, however, my view is despite that fact it does not deny their right to live peacefully as citizens of Sri Lanka. Their claims for special privileges is only some baseless “baila”, and nothing more, to that I oppose with my all might.

      Thanks!

  • Heshan

    I did not say that. TT had said that on January 25 @7.10am. On the same day @10.38pm you responded to that point of his.

    Okay, you did not say that then.

    The only reason that I am hostile towards the gay community

    Thanks for admitting you are hostile to the gay community.

    The only reason I am upset with the Europeans

    You have still not commented on what 500 years of Muslim rule would have brought to SL. Do you lack the necessary education to answer that question intelligently?

    • “You have still not commented on what 500 years of Muslim rule would have brought to SL.”

      But I have:

      Spain was ruled by Muslims for over 700 years and “For large parts of its history, particularly under the Caliphate of Córdoba, al-Andalus was a beacon of learning, and the city of Córdoba became one of the leading cultural and economic centres”

      Better than being under those dumb Christians, eh?

    • wijayapala

      Prof Heshan

      I cannot answer your question because I am not allowed to use what is called “hate speech” in this forum. However I am totally on your side.

      By the way, do not refer to your friends answer either, as it is completely wrong.

      Who is my friend. You are my only friend here.

      You are not referring to Blacker are you? He is certainly not my friend and I have made that very clear! I am even having doubts whether or not he believes in Singularity. Even the Muslims worship Singularity although they lack the scientific sophistication of your perspective.

  • Heshan

    By the way, do not refer to your friends answer either, as it is completely wrong. Of course if you disagree, you will still be wrong.

  • Heshan

    I cannot answer your question because…

    You cannot answer the question because the fact of the matter remains that Western colonialism was/is superior to being subjected to Muslim rule. If you answered the question with any semblance of intellectual substance, it would force you to temporarily depart from your anti-Western Heenayana madness.

    On December 30, 1066, Joseph HaNagid, the Jewish vizier of Granada, Spain, was crucified by an Arab mob that proceeded to raze the Jewish quarter of the city and dissolution its 5,000 inhabitants. The riot was incited by Muslim preachers who had angrily objected to what they saw as inordinate Jewish political power.

    http://www.barossa-region.org/Australia/Horrific-muslim-atrocities-on-balkan-christians-for-500-years-5390.html

    Can you give a list of the monks executed by the British, Dutch, and Portugese?

    Decrees ordering the destruction of synagogues were enacted in Egypt and Syria (1014, 1293Ð4, 1301Ð2), Iraq (854Ð859, 1344) and Yemen (1676). Despite the Koran’s prohibition, Jews were forced to convert to Islam or face rest in Yemen (1165 and 1678), Morocco (1275, 1465 and 1790Ð92) and Baghdad (1333 and 1344).(8)

    http://www.barossa-region.org/Australia/Horrific-muslim-atrocities-on-balkan-christians-for-500-years-5390.html

    I presume you know what a synagogue is. In case you don’t, it is a Jewish temple. Can you give a list of the Buddhist temples destroyed by the British, Dutch, and Portugese?

    I doubt you have proper answers to any of my questions. On the other hand, what it shows is that your anti-Western hysteria is basically just that – hysteria – and not much else.

  • wijayapala

    Prof Heshan

    So let me ask you again, what is the need to teach someone a philosophy like Buddhism, when it is understood in advance that they will most likely never comprehend it beyond an elementary level, and when the same desired effect (to teach a few morals) could be had with a much simpler system of thought, aka Christianity.

    The problem with the above is that the Christians appeared to have enormous difficulties following a few morals from the much simpler system of thought! Read on:

    I presume you know what a synagogue is. In case you don’t, it is a Jewish temple.

    Are you talking about the same Jews who faced the worst kind of persecution by Christians such as yourself?

    “Claude Cahen[2] and Shelomo Dov Goitein[3] argue against historic antisemitism in Muslim lands, writing that discrimination practiced against non-Muslims was of general nature, and not targeted specifically at Jews.”

    “Frederick M. Schweitzer and Marvin Perry state that there are mostly negative references to Jews in the Qur’an and Hadith, and that Islamic regimes treated Jews in degrading ways. Jews (and Christians) had the status of dhimmis. They state that throughout much of history Christians treated Jews worse, saying that Jews in Christian lands were subjected to worse polemics, persecutions and massacres than under Muslim rule.

    “As the Black Death epidemics devastated Europe in the mid-14th century, annihilating more than a half of the population, Jews were taken as scapegoats. Rumors spread that they caused the disease by deliberately poisoning wells. Hundreds of Jewish communities were destroyed by violence, in particular in the Iberian peninsula and in the Germanic Empire. In Provence, 40 Jews were burnt in Toulon as soon as April 1348.[2] “Never mind that Jews were not immune from the ravages of the plague ; they were tortured until they “confessed” to crimes that they could not possibly have committed. In one such case, a man named Agimet was … coerced to say that Rabbi Peyret of Chambéry (near Geneva) had ordered him to poison the wells in Venice, Toulouse, and elsewhere. In the aftermath of Agimet’s “confession”, the Jews of Strasbourg were burned alive on February 14, 1349.”

    “Jews were subject to a wide range of legal disabilities and restrictions throughout the Middle Ages, some of which lasted until the end of the 19th century. Jews were excluded from many trades, the occupations varying with place and time, and determined by the influence of various non-Jewish competing interests. Often Jews were barred from all occupations but money-lending and peddling, with even these at times forbidden. The number of Jews permitted to reside in different places was limited; they were concentrated in ghettos, and were not allowed to own land; they were subject to discriminatory taxes on entering cities or districts other than their own, were forced to swear special Jewish Oaths, and suffered a variety of other measures, including restrictions on dress.”

    “The mobs accompanying the first Crusade, and particularly the People’s Crusade, attacked the Jewish communities in Germany, France, and England, and put many Jews to death. Entire communities, like those of Treves, Speyer, Worms, Mainz, and Cologne, were slain during the first Crusade by a mob army. About 12,000 Jews are said to have perished in the Rhenish cities alone between May and July, 1096.” (Nice work, Heshan! 😉 )

    “To finance his war to conquer Wales, Edward I of England taxed the Jewish moneylenders. When the Jews could no longer pay, they were accused of disloyalty. Already restricted to a limited number of occupations, the Jews saw Edward abolish their “privilege” to lend money, choke their movements and activities and were forced to wear a yellow patch. The heads of Jewish households were then arrested, over 300 of them taken to the Tower of London and executed, while others killed in their homes. See also:-Massacres at London and York (1189–1190). The complete banishment of all Jews from the country in 1290 led to thousands killed and drowned while fleeing and the absence of Jews from England for three and a half centuries, until 1655, when Oliver Cromwell reversed the policy.”

    Prof Heshan, aren’t you so proud and delighted with your history? Do you ever have desires to reenact these pogroms against the Jews even though they also worship Singularity?

  • wijayapala

    Prof Heshan, in case you start bleating that I didn’t answer your questions:

    “The destruction of the Wijebahu Pirivena at Thotagamuwa (near Hikkaduwa) had also resulted in the death of some of the incumbent monks who could not escape in time.

    “Thirty monks were arrested from a Temple and executed soon after some monks and civilians had protested in front of the King?s Palace at Kotte upon the conversion of Dharmapala.

    “Three monks from Kandy were punished when they had appealed to the people of Alutkuru Korale and adjoining villages to revert to Buddhism and asked for contributions ?for the decoration of the shrine of Kandy?. The Captain ? General Nuno Alvares Pereira had ordered the Buddhist monks to be arrested and the leader of the group of monks had been condemned to be thrown to the man- eating crocodiles of the Rosapane river, while the two other monks had been removed as slaves by Phillip de Oliviera, the Conqueror of Jaffna.

    “Some of the great Buddhist and Hindu temples destroyed by the Portuguese include the ‘thousand pillar’ temples in Devundara, and Trincomalee, Saman Devale in Ratnapura, Sunethra Devi Pirivena in Kotte, Vidagama Pirivena in Raigama, and the Wijebahu Pirivena in Totagamuwe (near Hikkaduwa), Temples at Nawagamuwa, Kelaniya, Mapitigama and Wattala. Some of these Temples were plundered.

    “The Portuguese led by the Captain – General of Colombo, Diogo de Melo attacked and demolished completely the Kelaniya Temple, which was of inestimable value to the Buddhists. This happened in 1575. The villagers who resisted were either killed or thrown to the Kelani river and were drowned. In Kelaniya, a temple building known in classical literature as the Kitsiri Mevan Paya has disappeared without trace. It was part of the Kelaniya Mahavihara. The Portuguese built the Church of St. Anne at the site of the destroyed Temple.”

    “The destruction of the shrine at Devi Nuwera or Deundara by the Portuguese provides an illustration of the methods adopted. The Portuguese soldiers on their way to Deundara sacked and committed to flames three great Buddhist Viharas. The Portuguese historian Diogo Do Couto:
    ‘The inhabitants,…… on seeing the Portuguese, abandoned the city, and betook themselves inland. Our people proceeded to enter it without encountering any resistance, and reaching the Pagoda (Dagaba) broke open the gates, and entered it without meeting anyone to resist them, and went all round to see if they found any people: and seeing that all was deserted, Thomas de Souza delivered it over to the soldiers that they might do their duty, and the first thing in which they employed themselves was to destroy the idols, of which there were more than a thousand of diverse forms, some of clay, others of wood, others of copper, many of them gilt. Having done this, they demolished the whole of that internal structure of Dagabas, destroying their vaults and cloisters, knocking them all to pieces, and then proceeded to sack the store houses, in which they found much ivory, fine clothes, copper, pepper, sandalwood, jewels, precious stones and ornaments of the Dagabas, and of every thing they took what they like, and the rest they set fire to by which the whole was consumed. And for the greater insult to the Dagaba, they slaughtered inside several cows, which is the most unclean that can be, and for the purification of which are required very great ceremonies. And they also set fire to a wooden car made after the manner of a towered house of seven storeys, all large and most beautiful, lacquered in divers colors and gilt in many parts, a costly sumptuous work, which served to convey the idol on a ride through the city to which likewise they set fire, by which the whole was consumed.'”

    http://mahawansa.wordpress.com/2009/01/24/repression-of-buddhism-in-sri-lanka-by-portuguese-by-senaka-weeraratna/

    Had enough of Christian compassion, Prof Heshan? (lol)

  • Heshan

    You could only come up with examples pertaining to the Portugese? What about the British? 30 monks? I was hoping you could prove that at least 10K Sri Lankans were killed in the name of Christianity. 30 monks killed by the Portugese vs. 30K Tamils killed by the 100.00% Sinhala-Buddhist Army (in 6 months!)… 🙂

    • Why are you attempting to shift the goalposts, Heshan? Is that the only way you can win an argument? 😀 You asked for evidence of Christian atrocities; Wijeyapala has provided ample evidence; yet now you claim his evidence is outdated, even though you have cited events from the Middle Ages. You then asked for evidence of atrocities and persecution by the Christian colonists against the Buddhists; and again Wijeyapala provided tons of it. Now you ask for specific actions by the Dutch and British. This too will be provided no doubt, making you look once more like a fool. Why this gluttony for punishment, Heshan?

  • Heshan

    The problem with the above is that the Christians appeared to have enormous difficulties following a few morals from the much simpler system of thought! Read on:

    The problem with your examples is that they are outdated. Where is the persecution of Jews in Europe today? On the other hand, one can still (in the year 2011) be killed in a Muslim country for insulting the Prophet Muhammed, under so-called blasphemy laws .

    ——

    Blasphemy in Islam is any irreverent behavior[1] toward holy personages, religious artifacts, customs, and beliefs that Muslims revere. The Quran and the hadith do not speak about blasphemy.[2] Jurists created the offence, and they made it part of Sharia.[2] Where Sharia pertains, the penalties for blasphemy can include fines, imprisonment, flogging, amputation, crucifixion, hanging, or beheading.[3][4] Muslim clerics may call for the killing of an alleged blasphemer by issuing a fatw?.[5][6]

    Individuals have been accused of blasphemy or of insulting Islam for:

    * finding fault with Islam.[41][42][43][44]
    * saying Islam is an Arab religion; prayers five times a day are unnecessary; and the Qur’an is full of lies (Indonesia).[45]
    * believing in transmigration of the soul or reincarnation or disbelieving in the afterlife (Indonesia).[46][47]
    * finding fault with a belief or a practice which the Muslim community (Ummah) has adopted.[46]
    * finding fault with or cursing apostles (Rasul or Messenger), prophets, or angels.[46]
    * expressing an atheist or a secular point of view[6][20][48][49][50][51] or publishing or distributing such a point of view.[5][20][52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59][60][61]
    * using words that Muslims use because the individuals were not Muslims (Malaysia).[25][62][63]
    * praying that Muslims become something else (Indonesia).[64]
    * whistling during prayers (Indonesia).[65]
    * flouting the rules prescribed for Ramadan.[65]
    * reciting Muslim prayers in a language other than Arabic (Indonesia).[65]
    * consuming alcohol.[65][66]
    * gambling.[65]
    * being alone with persons of the opposite sex who are not blood relatives.[65]
    * finding amusement in Islamic customs (Bangladesh).[67][68][69][70]
    * publishing an unofficial translation of the Qur’an (Afghanistan).[71]
    * practicing yoga (Malaysia).[72]
    * watching a film or listening to music (Somalia).[73]
    * wearing make-up on television (Iran).[74]
    * insulting religious scholarship.[8]
    * wearing the clothing of Jews or of Zoroastrians.[8]
    * claiming that forbidden acts are not forbidden.[8]
    * uttering “words of infidelity” (sayings that are forbidden).[8]
    * participating in non-Islamic religious festivals.[8]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_blasphemy

    I kindly request Honorable Wijayapala, Ph.D in Muslim studies, to explain why execution/amputation are suitable punishments for listening to music and practicing yoga. May the Triple Gem guide him.

    • All the monoaesthic religions have committed great atrocities, not because they are particularly violent religions, though they can be interpreted as such if wished, but because the exclusive nature of these faiths lend themselves to unscrupulous leaders as a flag of convenience. In contrast, eastern religions do not, and have never been used in that manner, in spite of your ignorant and uneducated comment that the SL Army is 100% Buddhist, thereby suggesting that SL’s ethnic conflict is a religious conflict, which it is not.

      To attempt to show that one religion is better than another is as foolish a pursuit as attempting to show that a donkey is better than a mule.

      I might as well ask you to provide examples of Muslim persecution of Christians and Buddhists in SL 😀

  • ordinary lankan

    Dear Sanjana (a humble question)

    Offending Buddhists is a necessary corollary of accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

    (this is your claim in this post)

    … a process that continuously defines what is the best of us – a proud peoples, at peace with ourselves, progressive in our outlook, courageous in our ideas, innovative in our governance and confident in our democracy

    (this is an expansive proclamation from somewhere else – also by you)

    Let us know whether offending Buddhists will bring out the best in you and in Buddhists and promote reconciliation. Also whether you are referring to a primary intent to offend or the collateral damage caused by honest but friendly criticism which I suppose is the acceptable cost of free debate.

    Ultimately – in your own journey and in that of Groundviews there might come a time when you realize that there is really no choice but to engage what you have previously condemned. I just hope when that realization dawns it will not be too late.

    This happened to Churchill – whose own rejection of religion has now become a cornerstone of secular intellectuals everywhere – and this is what he said in 1952 – very instructive

    “When I was subaltern the Indian did not seem to me equal to the white man,” Churchill recalled in 1952. It was an attitude that, he had belatedly come to realize, had hurt the Raj.

    Then he said something unlike anything he had ever said about India: “if we had made friends with them and taken them into our lives instead of restricting our intercourse to the political field, things might have been very different.” That regretful musing was a final landmark on a long journey. The opening that Gandhi had wanted had finally appeared – but too late for either of them.

    [Arthur Herman – Gandhi and Churchill p 604]

  • wijayapala

    Prof Heshan

    Why are you attempting to shift the goalposts, Heshan? Is that the only way you can win an argument? You asked for evidence of Christian atrocities; Wijeyapala has provided ample evidence; yet now you claim his evidence is outdated, even though you have cited events from the Middle Ages.

    This cunning Blacker is trying to divide us, but it will not work. Prof Heshan, I highly admire your ability to shift goalposts when losing an argument. That was a product of your Anglican upbringin. I am learning so much from you about alternatives to accepting defeat with grace and dignity and admitting that Christians like yourself were far worse to the Jews than the Muslims.

    The problem with your examples is that they are outdated. Where is the persecution of Jews in Europe today?

    The worst crime committed against Jews was in EUROPE during the Holocaust only 70 years ago- Muslims never massacred as many as 6 million Jews. I thought I’d just remind you! 😉

    Jews are no longer persecuted in Europe because Europe has become de-Christianised. Secularist thinking has prevailed.

    What about the British?

    The British massacred 1/5 of the entire population during the Uva-Wellassa Rebellion and turned the paddy fields into a wasteland that exists to this day.

    30K Tamils killed by the 100.00% Sinhala-Buddhist Army

    How many would have been killed if the LTTE was not using those people as human shields?

    Would you find those deaths acceptable if everyone in the SLA today decided to convert to Christianity?

    A couple of corrections: It was not 30K Tamils that were killed but 30 Trillion Tamils. Also the SLA is 2000% Sinhala-Buddhist not just 100%. You are repeating government propaganda.

    Earlier you posted:
    Prison officials reported that 24 hours before he was hanged, Somarama had himself baptized a Christian so that he could ask God for the forgiveness of sin that cannot be found in the Buddhist religion. ”
    http://www.sangam.org/2009/10/Bandaranaike_Assassination_3.php?uid=3710

    Are you saying that murder is perfectly acceptable in Christianity? Would that explain why you are so happy and content with how your people massacred the Jews among others?

    The website I cited earlier stated:

    “Further becoming a Christian also meant receiving preferential judicial treatment. Murderers and thieves upon embracing Christianity were able to escape severe punishment such as the death penalty. King Bhuvanakabahu VII himself had complained to the King of Portugal that criminals were converting to Christianity purely to obtain lenient punishment. The King of Portugal had issued standing orders to the Viceroy of Goa to pursue a policy of lenience towards converts accused of crimes. This policy was followed in Portuguese held areas of Sri Lanka. In 1618 pursuant to Jesuit intervention an order that “no Christian prisoner be put to death” was said to have been issued.”

    I support an international law stating that Christians shouldn’t be punished for ANY crime that they commit. We can call this the “Heshan Law of Equality and Fairness.” How does that sound?

  • Heshan

    Wijayapala:

    I’m glad to see that you fell for my trap. You were only able to post outdated examples of Christian persecution against Jews and others.

    The worst crime committed against Jews was in EUROPE during the Holocaust only 70 years ago

    A rather irrelevant example, as Hitler did not like the Church and imprisoned many Christian priests in concentration camps as well. In fact, Hitler planned to reform the Christian church by force after the war was over. On the other hand, while the Nazis killed 6 million Jews, the Japanese killed 30 million Asians and would have probably killed your sarong-clad grandfather too, had their dream of an Asian empire materialized:

    “It may be pointless to try to establish which World War Two Axis aggressor, Germany or Japan, was the more brutal to the peoples it victimised. The Germans killed six million Jews and 20 million Russians [i.e. Soviet citizens]; the Japanese slaughtered as many as 30 million Filipinos, Malays, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Indonesians and Burmese, at least 23 million of them ethnic Chinese.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_war_crimes

    Jews are no longer persecuted in Europe because Europe has become de-Christianised. Secularist thinking has prevailed.

    Are you admitting that your earlier claims of NGO’s and other Western organizations trying to destabilize Sri Lanka and turn it into a Christian nation, are false? Are you suggesting that Ven.Soma Thero was not part of a Christian conspiracy to kill SWRD?

    “Two of the three members of the commission concluded that a Christian fundamentalist conspiracy led to the monk’s death. This conclusion was reached by the chairman of the Commission G. W. Edirisuriya (retired judge of the Court of Appeal) and Dr. Anula Wijesundera.

    A dissenting opinion was expressed by the third member of the Commission Professor Mendis Rohanadeera, who concluded that there was no conspiracy behind the monk’s death and that he died of natural causes.”

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:WZqwr0f8uoAJ:theloveherald.com/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_content%26task%3Dview%26id%3D210%26Itemid%3D2+Sri+Lanka,+Christian+conspiracy&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com

    Who is that Professor Mendis character, btw, that disputes the anti-Christian theory? Sounds like a shady Christian (supported by LTTE funds?) in good need of 100.0% Sinhala-Buddhist white van treatment. I have already dispatched a letter to the Defense Ministry, regarding my protests. May the Triple Gem guide them.

    The British massacred 1/5 of the entire population during the Uva-Wellassa Rebellion and turned the paddy fields into a wasteland that exists to this day.

    As usual, you exaggerate the incident and also take it out of context. In the first place, it was a rebellion. Like the Sepoy Rebellion in India, the British had to put it down fast, because of the exponential rate at which popular support was growing. However, I can find no evidence to suggest that the British massacred 1/5 of the entire population. Neither can I find any evidence to suggest that the “wasteland” you speak of is a permanent wasteland. Unless the British used chemical weapons, the soil cannot be permanently damaged. Is it a wasteland today because the Kandyans are simply lazy and refuse to do much work? These are the same Kandyans who refused to pick tea; hence, the British had to import Indian Tamils, whom your 100.0% SB government later tried to disenfranchise.

    But the primary point is that Uva-Wellassa was a rebellion , and it was not the British that instigated it. In fact, the British tried on several occasions to resolve the issue amicably , but all such proposals were rejected by the rebels (natives). A primary example being the execution of a government agent:


    Wilson

    It was now Government Agent Sylvester Wilson’s turn to investigate.

    He set off from Badulla on 16.10.1817 with an armed escort of twenty-four Malay & Javanese soldiers under the command of Lieut-Newman and made contact with Wilbawe’s forces in Wellassa. On two occasions, he tried to reason with the unruly mob, comprising of people of the Uva/Wellasse region, to give up their uprising, but they refused to hear him . On his way back to Badulla, Wilson ordered his escort to continue its march while he stopped at a stream to take a wash. It was at this time that some hundred armed rebels appeared. Wilson defensively removed his coat to indicate to the rebels he was unarmed, and called them to come closer to negotiate. Instead, about forty of them advanced within about six yards of him and shot him with their bows and arrows. Wilson fell dead.

    Wilson’s head was decapitated on the orders of Wilbawe and mounted on a stake. An Ola wrapped in a white cloth suspended from a tree contained a Proclamation from the Pretender Wilbawe, announcing himself as the king and enjoining his subjects to put every white man to death.”

    http://www.lankalibrary.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=2910

    Put every white man to death? It is too bad that Wilawe was unable to escort HE Mahinda Rajapakse to OU; surely with his spear and beheading abilities, he could have silenced the Tamil demons in true Govigama fashion. In case he failed, Hon. Wimal could have begun a fast-unto-death outside Buckingham Palace. These are the true Sons of The Soil who will turn SL into a Mahavamsa paradise, free of any Western influence (except Pajeros and fine wine for the ministers). Anyway, why did Wilson try to reason with the rebels, not once but twice , to stop the rebellion? Did he promise them a kiribath party, fireworks and a lower electricity bill (for one month only!) if they succeeded?

    Would you find those deaths acceptable if everyone in the SLA today decided to convert to Christianity?

    The point of the war was to establish Sinhala-Buddhist supremacy on all four corners of the island. Monks were able to visit the places of the displaced Tamils, a long time before the Tamils (I saw this on Youtube). Much of the arable land belonging to displaced Tamils has been permanently appropriated for the establishment of high-security zones and other military infrastructure. The militarization of the North and East seems to be a long-term, if not permanent, investment. On the other hand, such militarization (of Tamil land) enjoys overwhelming support from the primarily Buddhist masses as well as the Buddhist clergy. Really, this is a fine example of the Heenayana mindset. Just like the Kandyans rejected British capitalism/development in their region, and wanted their own king, the SB community is treating Mahinda like a king, giving him the power to do pretty much anything. It seems that the Heenyana mindset has a fixation with “kings”; e.g. that a king can resolve the issues of the masses far better than any Western political model.

    • “But the primary point is that Uva-Wellassa was a rebellion , and it was not the British that instigated it.”

      You mean massacres and other atrocities are justified in putting down a rebellion when negotiations are claim to have failed? Interesting. So are you also justifying the civilian casualties of the fighting in the north?

      “The point of the war was to establish Sinhala-Buddhist supremacy on all four corners of the island.”

      It wasn’t. Wiki says, “The Sri Lankan Civil War, was a conflict fought on the island of Sri Lanka. Beginning on July 23, 1983, there was an on-and-off insurgency against the government by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (the LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers and other few terrorists groups), a separatist militant organization which fought to create an independent Tamil state named Tamil Eelam in the north and the east of the island.”

      Why this constant need to lie, Heshan? Aren’t you a Christian? Doesn’t the Bible say “Thou shall not lie”? Is this the sort of example you should be setting as a believer in Jesus?

      “I saw this on Youtube”

      😀 Well, I saw someone on Youtube claiming that he had a piece of pizza which had the face of Jesus on it, along with the letters MM for Mary Magdalene. Should we take the Holy Pastry as Gospel?

  • Heshan

    Are you suggesting that Ven.Soma Thero was not part of a Christian conspiracy to kill SWRD?

    Apologies, but I am mixing Soma Thero up with a different monk. I was informed by a patriot, a long time ago, that S.W.R.D’s assassination was a Christian conspiracy.

    Are you saying that murder is perfectly acceptable in Christianity?

    While Buddha rejected caste, the majority of Buddhists have not. But in Christianity, there are no outcastes. Even a murderer and thief can seek forgiveness at the appropriate time.

    I support an international law stating that Christians shouldn’t be punished for ANY crime that they commit. We can call this the “Heshan Law of Equality and Fairness.” How does that sound?

    You are correct that we should not rely on equity and fairness, in the Courts. Instead, we should consult astrologers and seek the opinion of such enlightened individuals as HE Mahinda Rajapakse and the Most Venerable orange-robed ones. Did HE not liberate the country from 30 years of Tamil terrorism? This is surely a greater feat than the “first man on the moon” or “fall of Rome.”

    • wijayapala

      Prof Heshan

      Even a murderer and thief can seek forgiveness at the appropriate time.

      So you agree with King Bhuvenekabahu that Christianity encouraged murder and theft in Sri Lanka. Thank you.

      But in Christianity, there are no outcastes.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_among_Indian_Christians

      “Social practices among certain Indian Christians parallel much of the discrimination faced by lower castes in other religious communities, as well as having features unique to this community.

      “Syrian Christians, especially Knanaya Christians tend to be endogamous, and tend not to intermarry with other Christian castes[8]. Also, very rarely are there intermarriages between Syrian Christians and Latin Rite Christians (converted in the 16th and 19th centuries) in Kerala; the latter were converted mainly from lower castes where fishing was the traditional occupation.

      “Anthropologists have noted that the caste hierarchy among Christians in Kerala is much more polarized than the Hindu practices in the surrounding areas, due to a lack of jatis.

      “The continued maintenance of the caste system among the Christians in Goa is attributed to the nature of mass conversions of entire villages, as a result of which existing social stratification was not affected. The Portuguese colonists, even during the Goan Inquisition, did not do anything to change the caste system. Thus, the original Hindu Brahmins in Goa now became Christian B?ma?s and the Kshatriya became Christian noblemen called Chardos. The Christian clergy became almost exclusively Bamonn. Vaishyas who converted to Christianity became Gauddos, and Shudras became Sudirs. Finally, the Dalits or “Untouchables” who converted to Christianity became Maharas and Chamars (an appellation of the anti-Dalit ethnic slur Chamaar). The upper caste Gaonkar Christians have demanded that only their community be given positions on the Pastoral Council of Goa’s Catholic Church.

      “There are separate seats, separate communion cups, burial grounds, and churches for members of the lower castes,[17][18] especially in the Roman Catholic Church.[19] Catholic churches in India are largely controlled by upper caste Priests and nuns[20]. Presently in India, more than 70% of Catholics are Dalits, but the higher caste Catholics (30% by estimates) control 90% of the Catholic churches administrative jobs [21]. Out of the 156 catholic bishops, only 6 are from lower castes.”

  • Heshan

    Due to the repeated attempts by Wijayapala and others to connect Nazism with Christianity , it is worthwhile to disprove such an argument once and for all. This is what Hitler thought of Christianity:


    The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming
    of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child.
    Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter
    of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.
    Bolshevism practises a lie of the same nature, when it claims to
    bring liberty to men, whereas in reality it seeks only to enslave
    them. In the ancient world, the relations between men and
    gods were founded on an instinctive respect. It was a world enlightened
    by the idea of tolerance. Christianity was the first
    creed in the world to exterminate its adversaries in the name of
    love. Its key-note is intolerance.
    Without Christianity, we should not have had Islam. The
    Roman Empire, under Germanic influence, would have
    developed in the direction of world-domination, and humanity
    would not have extinguished fifteen centuries of civilisation at a
    single stroke.” (Adolf Hitler)

    Above is an extract from a book called “Hitler’s Table Talk”, which records some of Hitler’s dinner conversations. Of course Hitler is wrong, when he says Christianity caused Rome to fall – this disintegration was a gradual process that occurred over more than a century.

    • SD

      Heshan,

      RE: “Due to the repeated attempts by Wijayapala and others to connect Nazism with Christianity , it is worthwhile to disprove such an argument once and for all.”

      This is what Hitler said to the Germain nation: “especially at the beginning of his rule, Hitler frequently spoke positively about the Christian of German culture, and his belief in the “Aryan” Christ. In a proclamation to the German Nation February 1, 1933 Hitler stated, “The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and co-operation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler's_religious_views

      The point is that Hitler’s actual, often confusing, views on christianity were *irrelevant*. We know that his *followers* were all christians. Those who gleefully gassed Jews were biblically inspired christians. German soldiers’ belt buckles were inscribed with “Gott mit uns” (Literally: God with us), also biblically inspired (http://www.bowness.demon.co.uk/belt.htm). The “aryan” religion of Nazi Germany was christianity. Hitler was yet another faith-head, indoctrinated in the cradle, and he detested atheists.

      So your attempt to dissociate Nazism and Christianity “once and for all” amounts to naught but a denial of history. But then, we are used to that kind of thing from you right?

    • When I was living in Germany, I once asked the parent of a friend — who’d been a child during WW2 — whether she never asked her parents why the authorities were persecuting the Jews. And she told me that her parents had told her that the Jews killed Jesus.

  • Heshan

    So you agree with King Bhuvenekabahu that Christianity encouraged murder and theft in Sri Lanka. Thank you.

    Thanks for demonstrating the difference between real (pure) Buddhism and Sinhala-Buddhism. Real Buddhism also espouses forgiveness, whereas Sinhala-Buddhism is obsessed with revenge.

    “Social practices among certain Indian Christians parallel much of the discrimination faced by lower castes

    That is because they live in a primarily Hindu society. On the other hand, casteism is described well in the “Laws of Manu”, so we can say that the caste divisions are a natural component of the Hindu belief system. Caste divisions among Sinhalese are/were based more on economics than anything else; nevertheless, these divisions are still important. And we cannot forget that the foundations of Theravada Buddhism are still rooted in Hinduism, despite the clever attempts of SB nationalists to downplay such connections. The origin of such notions as “karma”, “dharma”, “reincarnation”, etc. can be found in Hinduism, where they have certain associations with caste, e.g. a “twice-born” is a Brahmin.

  • Heshan

    SD,

    Either you’re joking, or you’ve never seen a Nazi parade. The Nazis were obsessed with the Occult, as well as Nordic mythology.

    ——-

    Pauwels and Bergier were among the first postwar proponents of a black magical explanation for the Third Reich. About a quarter of their book is devoted to a region they call “The Absolute Elsewhere,” a neverland where Nazi pseudosciences and occult methodology held official sway. They quote a Hitlerian pronouncement to demonstrate that the Fuhrer’s intellectual development was on a level wholly different from that understood by the Western tradition: “there is a Nordic and National Socialist science which is opposed to Jewish-Liberal science”.2 Reality was defined by politics.

    Nazi “science” has brought hoots of derision from those who hold to the Cartesian model. In place of psychology there was an occult frappe composed of the mysticism of Gurdijeff, the theosophy of Madame Blavatsky and the archetypes of Nordic mythology. In place of Newtonian physics stood the cosmic force called vril, the bizarre geology known as the hollow earth theory, and the frigid cosmology of Hans Horbiger’s Welteislehre, the doctrine of eternal ice.

    Nazi thought excluded psychoanalysis, which has in fact been not very helpful in explaining the etiology of great evil, although Robert G.L. Waite’s effort, quoted above and published in 1977 by Basic Books, is good on several provocative subjects: Hitler’s sadomasochistic sex life; the possibility he had a Jewish grandfather; and his Viennese mentors, who are described at greater length by the authors about to be mentioned.

    Nazism officially rejected the theory of relativity as “Jewish science”. Not only Freud but EInstein too was forced to flee Hitler’s Europe. He and other physicists eventually were able to ensure that atomic secrets remained in the hands of the allies until they could be used spectacularly to climax the Pacific war.

    Horbiger’s physics derived from an intuitive flash he experienced late in the nineteenth century. ” As a young engineer,” he wrote, “I was watching one day some molten steel poured on wet ground covered with snow: the ground exploded after some delay and with great violence.”

    This conflict of opposites, of fire and ice, is a theme that inspired Horbiger and resonated for German nationalists because it recurs in the Icelandic Eddas, the sourcebooks of Teutonic mythology. It all makes good sense in Iceland, since that island’s peculiar geology feature numerous volcanic rifts in the permafrost; fire and ice are commonly juxtaposed all over the landscape. As grounds for a cosmology- the word implies universality- it is at best dubious. It would be a hard sell in Hawaii.

    Nevertheless, Nazi science was influential out of all proportion to its objective validity. Hoerbiger was immensely influential in the Third Reich. His followers numbered in the tens of thousands. There were scores of Horbigerian books, hundreds of Welteislehre pamphlets, and a monthly magazine called The Key to World Events.

    Our Nordic ancestors grew strong amidst the ice and snow, and this is why a belief in a world of ice is the natural heritage of Nordic men. It was Austrian, Hitler, who drove out the Jewish politicians, and another Austrian, Horbiger, (who) will drive out the Jewish scientists. By his own example Hitler has shown that an amateur to give us a thorough understanding of the Universe.

    Hitler’s fatal confidence in the success of his troops on the Russian front during the 1941 – 2 winter is generally believed to have been a result of his misplaced faith in Horbiger’s weather forecasts. Despite such setbacks, the Welteislehre managed to thrive even after the war. The popular speculations of Immanuel Velikovsky derive in part from Horbiger. In 1953 a survey conducted by Martin Gardner showed that more than a million people in Germany, England, and the U.S. believed that Horbiger was right6.

    http://stargods.org/Nazis_and_the_Occult.html

    Like I said, anyone who has ever seen a Nazi parade (from the 30’s/40’s) will be baffled by the sheer number of pagan symbols.

    It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.”

    I strongly suggest you read “Mein Kampf.” Hitler believed in the superiority of the Nordic race, not Semitic-inspired Christianity. For him, the Nordic race were the drivers and inventors of modern civilization. Racial mixing, in Hitler’s view, is what leads to the collapse of the great civilizations. Christianity was simply one aspect of Nordic culture, but by no means a preeminent one.

    The point is that Hitler’s actual, often confusing, views on christianity were *irrelevant*. We know that his *followers* were all christians.

    That is an absurd argument, considering the German propensity to “obey orders” at the time. Hitler’s followers took direct orders from their superiors, and the superior of superior’s was none other than Hitler. Hitler’s interference was actually a great nuisance, for example, his decision not to attack Dunkirk and the refusal to pull troops out of Stalingrad, which led to the collapse of the Eastern front.

    Those who gleefully gassed Jews were biblically inspired christians.

    LOL, actually the gassing of Jews was based on the “Final Solution”, which had nothing to do with the Bible:

    After this decision, plans were made to put the Final Solution into effect. For example, on December 16, 1941, at a meeting of the officials of the General Government, Hans Frank referred to Hitler’s speech as he described the coming annihilation of the Jews:

    “As for the Jews, well, I can tell you quite frankly that one way or another we have to put an end to them. The Führer once put it this way: if the combined forces of Judaism should again succeed in unleashing a world war, that would mean the end of the Jews in Europe. …I urge you: Stand together with me … on this idea at least: Save your sympathy for the German people alone. Don’t waste it on anyone else in the world, … I would therefore be guided by the basic expectation that they are going to disappear. They have to be gotten rid of. At present I am involved in discussions aimed at having them moved away to the east. In January there is going to be an important meeting in Berlin to discuss this question.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Solution

    So your attempt to dissociate Nazism and Christianity “once and for all” amounts to naught but a denial of history.

    No offense, but your knowledge of the Nazis does not even reach the elementary level. I also suggest you research the American Far Right and why they’re a big fan of Israel.

    • SD

      Heshan, most people on this forum are familiar with the fact that your trysts with reason and logic are brief and fleeting, and any affiliation whatsoever with honesty – quiet and clandestine. Once again, we have an exemplar post unblushingly attesting to this fact. As pointless as this exercise may be, it seems even more criminal to let your barefaced distortions of history go unchallenged.

      Here are direct quotes from Mein Kampf.

      “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”
      http://www.hitler.org/writings/Mein_Kampf/mkv1ch02.html

      “The best characterization is provided by the product of this religious education, the Jew himself. His life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previous was to the great founder of the new doctrine. Of course, the latter made no secret of his attitude toward the Jewish people, and when necessary he even took to the whip to drive from the temple of the Lord this adversary of all humanity, who then as always saw in religion nothing but an instrument for his business existence. In return, Christ was nailed to the cross, while our present-day party Christians debase themselves to begging for Jewish votes at elections and later try to arrange political swindles with atheistic Jewish parties-and this against their own nation.”
      http://www.hitler.org/writings/Mein_Kampf/mkv1ch11.html

      “Christianity was not content with erecting an altar of its own. It had first to destroy the pagan altars. It was only in virtue of this passionate intolerance that an apodictic faith could grow up. And intolerance is an indispensable condition for the growth of such a faith.”
      http://www.hitler.org/writings/Mein_Kampf/mkv2ch05.html

      “Here he stops at nothing, and in his vileness he becomes so gigantic that no one need be surprised if among our people the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.”
      http://www.hitler.org/writings/Mein_Kampf/mkv1ch11.html

      “The Jew almost never marries a Christian woman; it is the Christian who marries a Jewess. The bastards, however, take after the Jewish side.”
      http://www.hitler.org/writings/Mein_Kampf/mkv1ch11.html

      As I said before, this is the kind of repulsive, biblically inspired anti-semitism that Hitler laid claim to. And it does nothing but reinforce the point that those who gleefully followed his orders in an ovine fashion were themselves, card-carrying members of the christian faith.

      This is why your white-washing of these sins is a disgusting distortion of history that should not be tolerated, lest they be forgotten altogether. I don’t suggest that modern day Christians are to be blamed, but the *christian religious doctrine*, cannot disown responsibility for the centuries of cruelty it has unleashed upon mankind. We cannot forget that the domesticated dog that Christianity pretends to be today took centuries of horrors to defang, and we must never again let it assume the mantle of power with which to oppress others. Keep Christianity in your private life, and mate with it if you will, but keep it the hell out of other people’s lives.

  • ordinary lankan

    Dear Groundviews

    I have sought clarifications only to be ignored. I simply cannot understand how offending anyone can promote reconciliation.

    Henceforth we will take it as part of your policy that

    “Offending Buddhists is a necessary corollary of accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka”

    Accountability starts here and now – and with your own inconsistencies I have highlighted.

  • ordinary lankan

    Start off as reality
    Without name
    End up as
    Name without reality
    As it is for all religions
    So it is for ‘universal norms’
    Different facades for fascism
    Different struggles of ego against nature
    Fuelled by the power of money
    Don’t wax eloquent
    About the great Spirit
    Let go of all that knowledge
    Like a sneeze that blocked wisdom
    Let’s talk instead
    Of our own shadows…

  • Heshan

    Somewhat Disgusted:

    Unfortunately, just quoting Hitler will not back up your assertion that the Nazis were connected with Christianity. On the other hand, your knowledge of the Nazis seems limited to Hitler quotes, and whatever you manage to salvage on Wikipedia. As I said, this does not even amount to an elementary knowledge of the Nazis. The kind of juvenile knowledge which you display regarding the Nazis does not do your cause justice – it only reveals more and more layers of your outstanding ignorance.

    “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

    Hitler considered himself to be some kind of Messiah – Savior of the German people. He believed he had a special destiny, and that God would save him no matter what. The above quote has nothing to do with Christianity, other than Hitler using the word “Lord” by way of analogy to inflate the importance of his special destiny.

    “The best characterization is provided by the product of this religious education, the Jew himself. His life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previous was to the great founder of the new doctrine. Of course,….

    Here Hitler is saying that with Jews, religion is meaningless because all that Jews care about is the preservation of their own race. In other words, Jews will do anything to promote their own well-being, even if it means defiling sacred traditions. Which leads “logically” into Hitler’s next example, where Jesus chases the tax-collectors out of the Temple (a biblical story). When Hitler says “his life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity”, he is saying that the inherent nature of the Jews – e.g. greed – prevents them from focusing on the afterlife, an essential precondition for Christians. “Christians debase themselves to begging for Jewish votes”… Hitler is asking why Christians defile themselves by kneeling at the feet of crooks and thieves.

    “Christianity was not content with erecting an altar of its own. It had first to destroy the pagan altars.

    This sounds a lot like Nietzsche. In any case, it shows Hitler’s obsession with everything pagan, particularly in Western Europe.

    Here he stops at nothing, and in his vileness he becomes so gigantic that no one need be surprised if among our people the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew

    Yes, the Nazis depicted the Jews as devils, for propaganda purposes. In certain cartoons, for instance, you would see a light-haired German woman and her light-haired children, sitting next to a dark-haired Jewish mother and her dark-haired children. The suggested meaning is obvious. On the other hand, light and dark have no racial connotations in Christianity. Light simply refers to the wisdom or power of God, whereas darkness represents evil. The Nazis simply exploited such notions for their own purposes; but the point is that the latter amounts to a gross distortion and nothing more.

    “The Jew almost never marries a Christian woman; it is the Christian who marries a Jewess. The bastards, however, take after the Jewish side.”

    Hitler is giving an example of how (in his view) cunning the Jews are, and the kind of racial extinct they possess. And then he is saying that when a Christian marries a Jew, the progeny will become invariably defiled, which makes sense if you consider Jews to be the children of the Devil, as the Nazis did.

    You also have to keep in mind that Hitler was a master manipulator. When he gave speeches, the audience would be simply mesmerized by the sheer dynamism of his language. So one should never take Hitler literally, but always what he said in the context of the larger National Socialist ideology.

    • From your evidence, it looks like Hitler believed very much that he was a Christian, just like you believe you’re one; he believed his views were very Christian, just as you do. Replace the word “Jews” with “Muslims” and there isn’t too much difference between Hitler’s viewpoint and your own.

    • In fact, for once, Heshan has managed to come up with something based in reality. He has shown that just because someone claims to be a Christian, it doesn’t mean that that individual’s actions are Christian or that Christianity is at fault. That is the fallacy in trying to prove that a religion is flawed based on the actions of its believers. Hitler’s beliefs were no more Christian than Heshan’s are today, and no more than Osama Bin Laden’s beliefs are Muslim. All three have used their respective religions to justify the hatred, bigotry, and xenophobia that is their own personal belief system. Religion is merely a flag of convenience. Which was my point when I first addressed Kusal’s post.

      • SD

        David,

        RE: “Religion is merely a flag of convenience”

        This is where I think you are going too easy on it. It’s not merely that it’s a flag of convenience, it’s also that it *lends itself to convenience*, as history repeatedly attests – some religions, more so than others. Your suggestion that irrational beliefs are not fundamentally flawed and that it is the actions of the believers that must count, ignores how deeply the believers are affected by and subscribe to, their (irrational) world views.

        Sam Harris puts it more eloquently that I can:

      • This is where I think you are going too easy on it. It’s not merely that it’s a flag of convenience, it’s also that it *lends itself to convenience*, as history repeatedly attests – some religions, more so than others. Your suggestion that irrational beliefs are not fundamentally flawed and that it is the actions of the believers that must count, ignores how deeply the believers are affected by and subscribe to, their (irrational) world views.

        SD, all religions are fundamentally flawed and irrational, and that is why they lend themselves to misinterpretation. Obviously, some religions lend themselves better, particularly the monoaesthetic religions of the middle east, because of their exclusiveness and certain violent aspects. However, as we see here in SL and India, even peaceful religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism can be misinterpreted by people to justify their unscrupulous acts.

        You’re basically agreeing with Kusal’s theory that because the religion is flawed, its adherents are misguided and thereby their actions are flawed. What then remains is to decide which system is more flawed which, as I earlier pointed out to Heshan, is as fruitful as trying to decide whether a donkey is better or worse than a mule. Kusal has applied it to Theravadha Buddhism, and you’re applying it to Christianity. This is a misguided theory.

        Hitler and the Nazis did not consider National Socialism to be a religion; though admittedly a few, like Heinrich Himmler, admired and attempted to incorporate some of the Norse paganism represented in Nazi symbolism into the practice of the ideology, but this was mostly revisionist. Hitler and most of Germany believed that it was quite possible to be both a good Christian and a good Nazi without any conflict of ideology. This doesn’t mean that that was correct, but it was what they believed. To blame Christianity for Hitler is as silly as blaming Christianity for Heshan’s bigotry and ignorance.

      • SD, I never said that irrational systems are not flawed and that the blame lies solely in the interpretation and practice of those systems. The fact is all religions are fundamentally flawed and irrational, which is why they shouldn’t be incorporated into state practice. I agree that some religions — the monoatheistic ones of the middle east — are more easily misinterpreted due to their exclusive nature and certain violent aspects, but given that Buddhism, a relatively inclusive and peaceful religion, is being used to justify certain unscrupulous acts, is evidence that any religion can be used as a flag of convenience, be it as fundamental as Wahabi Islam or as inoccuous as the Dalai Lama.
        It is a fact that Hitler couldn’t have convinced the German people without Christianity, just as bin Laden cannot convince his followers without Islam. Religion has always been a rallying cry for political causes.

      • SD

        David,

        RE: “However, as we see here in SL and India, even peaceful religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism can be misinterpreted by people to justify their unscrupulous acts.”

        I accept your points. The only thing I don’t agree with is:

        RE: “You’re basically agreeing with Kusal’s theory that because the religion is flawed, its adherents are misguided and thereby their actions are flawed.”

        I think Kusal’s theory holds no water, mainly because there doesn’t seem to be anything in Sri Lanka that cannot be accounted for by faults in Buddhism. Yet, other countries display these same pathologies, but they don’t follow Buddhism. Ergo, the theory makes no sense. Unless Kusal writes a more targeted essay that specifically isolates Buddhism over other variables as the causative factor for some pathology, his essay degenerates into a frustrated rant in search of a scapegoat.

        Buddhism can be just as silly as any other religion, but not more so than others, and it’s certainly not as equally destructive. This is why I went ahead with comparing donkeys and mules, to show that certain religions like Christianity had done far worse, although you are right in saying that it’s a mostly pointless exercise. Sadly, Kusal seems disinterested in addressing any of these points, raised at various times by others, and appears content with Heshan’s cogent, water-tight arguments which have amply demonstrated that one need not be even mildly inconvenienced by logic and reason when participating in public discourse.

  • wijayapala

    Dear yapa & TT

    I am not equating “Jaffna kingdom” with “Tamil Eelam”, but I am opposing both…The false concept “Jaffna Kingdom” is the basis for their argument for Separate Tamil Eelam. If you oppose Tamil Eelam, as said above, you invariably have to oppose the “Jaffna Kingdom”, idea too.

    In other words then, you ARE equating them by saying that Jaffna kingdom is the basis for Tamil Eelam.

    I am arguing that the Eelamists’ wrong interpretation of the Jaffna kingdom, not the kingdom itself should be debunked.

    I don’t understand your argument that I am agreeing with Eelamists when I oppose both of their core ideas?

    You agree with them that the Jaffna kingdom is the basis for Tamil Eelam. That is why you are opposing the Jaffna kingdom, no?

    Really there were only a few Tamils in Jaffna peninsula, when Aryachakravarthi invaded it. The it was a Sinhalese dominant area. There were only a few Tamil settlers in there at that time.

    What is your evidence for this?

    most of the Tamils in North and East are decedents of the Tamils brought here by Dutch and British colonials to work in their plantations.

    What is your evidence? There are no plantations in the N-E.

    Really Tamil invaders must have the blame for it, those invasions are the main reason for the instability of the country in that period.

    That is not what Profs. Paranavitana and Liyanagamage said.

    Why should a normal practice of India, be practiced here by invaders? On the other hand how come an Indian practice is entertained by the people of Sri Lanka to request for kings from India?

    Maybe because the cultures back then were very similar?

    They did that under unavoidable circumstances, not like Arya chakravarthi. Aryachakravarthi paid tributes to a friendly king,

    How do you know that they were friends?

    “In any case, that arrangement did not last long after Aryachakravarthy became an independent ruler and Pandyan power collapsed.”
    This again is an evidence that Aryachakravarthi waq an invader.

    How?

    Many Sinhala and Tamils were accepted as legitimate kings on the basis of the right to royal lineage.

    And if you and the Eelamists bothered to read the Jaffna chronicles, you would know that the Jaffna kings traced their lineage to Vijaya himself! This fact proves that the Jaffna kingdom was integrated into the prevailing civilisation in Sri Lanka and did not comprise a “separate nation.”

    “Except that after 1850, the people stopped resisting the British. Could you explain why?”
    What about the period before that? Britishers were resisted. Britishers destroyed our capacity to resist by using very devastative tactics on Sinhalese. They were deprived of everything. Their land were taken by force. Their economy was devastated by destroying paddy fields, tanks and their human resource by massacring all the males including small boys.

    They did that in Uva where the people rebelled. How come other places did not rebel?

    There also may be unknown reason to me.

    Perhaps because the Sinhalese living after 1850 were not so patriotic as you would have liked them to be?

    Their claims for special privileges is only some baseless “baila”, and nothing more, to that I oppose with my all might.

    Is having Tamil as an official language a special privilege?

    • yapa

      Dear wijayapala;

      I think you have fallen prey into Tamil propaganda against Sinhalese. Tamils are in the process of attacking every root of Sinhalese presence in Sri Lanka, still some of our people take the sides of them, despite obvious ill- intentions in them. They attack the origin of Sinhalese, they attack the history of Sinhalese, they attack Mahawansa, they attack Mahinda Thero, they attack Buddhism, they attack Sinhala language, they attack Sanga and what not, with baseless arguments?

      Some of us also support them to become moderate and scholarly, by approving opposite views.

      This method has been outdated. Old Marxists used it. Wickramabahu Karunarathne and Vasudeva Nanayakkara are living examples. I think you will not take such popular and easy paths to secure a place in society.
      Please see the reality. See in how unfair manner they are trying to destroy our heritage.

      Showing compassion is a good thing, but falling prey into it is another thing. Please read. Open your eyes.

      http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/1956

      (I will answer your last response soon.)

      Thanks!

  • Heshan

    From your evidence, it looks like Hitler believed very much that he was a Christian…

    Nope, Hitler didn’t believe he was a Christian, but he could convince others he was, even after his death, as this thread demonstrates.

    • For that, Heshan, you would have had to either have known Hitler intimately, or have read his mind. Since obviously you did neither, you, like all of us, only have what he said and did. Since he has professed to be doing God’s work (just as Osama Bin Laden claims), never persecuted the Christian church (only dissident priests), and in fact encouraged Christian beliefs, we can conclude he believed he was a Christian, just as Bin Laden believes he is a Muslim.

      You’re like a little child with his first bicycle; as soon as you manage to pedal a few meters and are praised for it, you promptly fall off.

  • Kusal Perera

    To all those who raised the number to a double hundred plus comments,

    With a heavily stretched patience as never before, I went through some 170 comments and thought, it was a total waste of my time.

    This thread had been distorted, dragged and dumped in unwanted and unusually personalised egoistic traffic in comments to such and extent, I keep wondering why GV wasted their editorial time on just a half dozen, with no real identity.

    Any way, my article and later response was purely on the negative social impact “Heenayana” Buddhism has on this Sri Lankan Sinhala society that lives in a modern world and has to live so. The term “Heenayana” is the original term, as opposed to “Mahayana” and not “Theravada” as those few in this thread wants others to believe. And that is not an issue as well, that I discussed.

    My article for sure had nothing to do with Singapore and its Dictator, nothing to do with Eelam and Jaffna kingdom, nothing to do with Vijeya’s arrival, nothing to do with who came first to this island, who Arya Chakrawarthy was, nothing to do with Christian – Jew conflict, nothing to do with Hitler’s Christianity and all those loony posts.

    It had nothing do with what these few, just a half a dozen with pseudonyms and probably adopted names and therefore with the advantage of commenting without responsibility, have been posting all this time. It is this few who storm any serious discussion and ruin it for the sake of their egos. They thus deprive a good thread with more and better participation.

    Sad I am a Sinhala Buddhist, but happy these four or five Sinhala Buddhists proved they are nihilistic as hypothesised by me. The biggest “Karumey” in searching for a way out.

    Kusal Perera

    • yapa

      Sad I am a Sinhala Buddhist, but happy………….

      ” Una puruke balu walige laewath nae aede aerenne” [Even if dog’s tail kept fitted inside a bamboo tree forever,it won’t straighten (its “crookedness”).]

      Thanks!

      • yapa

        Further, rust that destroy iron is born from the iron itself. Mr.Kusal Perera is not an exception, despite his hate ridden narratives. He is not an astonishing phenomenon.

        Thanks!

    • yapa

      Mr>Kusal Perer;

      “My article for sure had nothing to do with Singapore and its Dictator, nothing to do with Eelam and Jaffna kingdom, nothing to do with Vijeya’s arrival, nothing to do with who came first to this island, who Arya Chakrawarthy was, nothing to do with Christian – Jew conflict, nothing to do with Hitler’s Christianity and all those loony posts.”

      How about my series of Economics lecture series? Has it anything to do with your article?

      Please tell me whether those are also loony posts as yours. if you respond directly without just hide and seek we can see whose is more loony. Why are you hiding like a mole in its hole? What happened to your Marxist courage? Come forward and face the challenges posed to you without just insulting them. Why breaking pots in an abandoned house?

      Looking forward for your precious response.

      Thanks!

  • Heshan

    All three have used their respective religions to justify the hatred, bigotry, and xenophobia that is their own personal belief system.

    Spoken by someone who spent the best years of their life fighting a war for a mythological Sinhala-Buddhism! Enough said.

  • Heshan

    Nice try Blacker, but it is not just my opinion, but the opinion of the majority of historians, that Hitler was not a Christian. If you disagree with them, state your qualifications, e.g. the highest degree that you have obtained. As for me, I prefer to trust the judgment of academics who have spent 30-40 years studying Hitler, as opposed to a layman whose “advanced” education doesn’t amount to much more than toddy drinking in an army camp.

    Historians agree that Hitler was pointedly anti-Christian. We are not aware of any published sources from acknowledged academic historians or writers that identify Adolf Hitler as significantly Catholic or Christian in his motivations as an adult. If anybody writes to us to point out such resources, we will be happy to cite them and refer to them here. One detailed publication that describes how Hitler was anti-Christian was written by Jewish writer Julie Seltzer Mandel, as described by Matt Kaufman (http://boundless.org/2001/regulars/kaufman/a0000541.html):

    http://www.adherents.com/people/ph/Adolf_Hitler.html

    Of course, there are those readers (with common sense) who may wish to verify for themselves the arguments put forth by historians, regarding Hitler’s personal religious convictions and his vision for religion in the future 1000 year Reich. . I fully support such an endeavor (assuming the reader is mentally capable). For these readers, I suggest the books “Mein Kampf”, “Inside The Third Reich,” and “Hitler’s Table Talk.” The essay by Savitri Devi, “A Warning to The Hindus” is also an excellent source for noting the interlap between between Eastern and Western paganism. One should also do some research into the Nazi fascination with ecology (Hitler was a strong vegetarian) – as it is connected with the important blood and soil concept (which has strong pagan connotations), as well as the Hitler Youth Schools (Hitler’s model schools for the German youth, which by the way did not teach religion at all, but stressed physical activity). Finally, one would do well to read Nietzsche, in particular the “Anti-Christ.”

    Unfortunately, there also a exist a class of readers for whom the above experiment is strongly discouraged. These readers display a Heenayana complex; therefore it is doubtful they could digest a large volume of Western history without relapsing into some kind of anti-Western diatribe (as has been displayed on this thread). For them, all I can recommend is prozac, counseling, and perhaps some overseas travel. Cheers.

    • Unfortunately, Heshan, you’re unable to quote any texts that actually describe Hitler’s anti-Christian traits, actions, or utterances. Everything you’ve referred to in fact describe him more or less exactly as a secular Christian of the ’30s. As I said before, Hitler and the Nazis did not see National Socialism as a religion but an ideology, and saw no contradiction between it and Christianity. The Wehrmacht motto was Gott mit uns (God is with us), and while the Waffen-SS motto Meine Ehre heisst Treue (Loyalty is my Honour) has no religous connotation, they had their own military chaplains, both Protestant and Catholic. National Socialism might not have been born of Christianity or anything like that, but neither was it anti-Christian as you try to make out.

  • Heshan

    Dear Kusal:

    If you read between the lines, it is not difficult to see the Heenayana mindset at work, in many of the varied topics discussed in this thread. To give a few examples, some here believe the British had a policy of killing Sinhalese youth, while others believe the Third Reich was a Christian entity. Clearly, the anti-Western bias, which is an integral part of the Heenayana mindset, is working overtime. One thing I found particularly interesting was the rather amusing response to my question, “what would the state of SL be today, had it been under Muslim rule for 500 years.” Of course, as you and I know, things would not have turned out well, but the Heenayanists, for one reason or another, cannot admit this. Clearly, the anti-Western bias is deep-rooted and precludes virtually every aspect of Western history – not least of all, colonialism – from the point of view of the Heenayanist. In general, this thread provides avid justification for your hypothesis that the Heenayana mind is out of touch with the modern world. I would say, it is caught in the middle between feudalism and modernism, with varying degrees of oscillation generally in the direction of the former.

  • Heshan

    Correction: *provides ample justification

  • wijayapala

    Hi Kusal Perera,

    If you want your thread to go in your preferred direction, why don’t you participate a little more instead of hiding?

  • ordinary lankan

    There are two types trapped between feudalism and modernism.

    1.The heenayanists – as much as I disagree with the use of this term applied to those pseudo buddhists who have misunderstood buddhism

    2. the heenamanaya’s who have also failed to deal with (1) and also failed to optimize all the opportunities the english speaking elite had to make this country a genuinely egalitarian and liberal one – instead of a pseudo liberal talk shop. they also indulge in blaming – very little capacity for thinking out of the box …. they take the English laid norms as the sole framework ignoring the broader spiritual framework that runs through this land (and the whole world) like an underground waterway.

    It takes two to tango. I say we take both by the scruffs of their necks and throw them out!

    Once the poverty of the kusal line of thought was exposed – the heenamanists had no way of proceeding – we were simply entertained by a historical side show.

    If the heenamanists simply admit they dont know how to deal with this sinhala buddhist problem they would be on a better wicket. It would take them out of the box into a much broader field of inquiry.

    as it is you are trapped within your own aversion to sinhala buddhists.

    How, just how did these pathetic introverts shut the door on the west and finish the LTTE? how on earth did they manage such a feat? Of course no military victory is a game of ‘cricket’ and there are other issues on the table.

    so there is no point trying to write them off. what is really happening is that those who seek to revive the old English values are being increasingly marginalized and written off themselves. This is the reality. 200 years on from 1815 we are moving towards a situation where the whole british inheritance will be rejected.

    This is not anybody’s preference – I have myself decried this movement and called attention to it. But this is the reality. we have to look for new formulas of morality and practicality to fill the ideological vacuum

  • ordinary lankan

    Dear Kusal

    please come back. I am passing your comments about identity over to a gentle verse

    Only ego wins
    When egos collide
    Fools!
    Why be pawns
    When you can be queen?
    It takes no self
    To fight ego

    Ok – so if as a buddhist you like no self and selflessness please understand that our anonymity is not to take undue advantage or throw mud. there can be other reasons – so lets not make that a matter of comment.

    One thing you last said negative social impact of buddhism – yes this is definitely valid – I have suggested that we contextualize it and make it better. would that displease you?

    I have also suggested that there is another side to this negative sinhala buddhism – what it keeps colliding with. That is also a local aspect – a shallow westernized culture.

    I see no depth in either the superficial sinhala buddhists or the westernized self seekers who run around parroting rights talk without really connecting the universal values inherent in both buddhism and the western norms.

    This is where I come from. I prefer depth and a very critical approach. I am not interested in personalities and personal fights. That is rather childish and we are grown ups no?

    I think you can come back and develop the argument. All the bad blood is just a waste and there is no point wasting more time on that. It will also be easier for you if you dont get put off by the names or the lack of names…..

  • ordinary lankan

    As tomorrow is our day of independence…and as independence is our birthright – should we remain in – dependence?

    A time to cry
    a time to hold our heads in shame
    if only…
    if only we had
    listeners in this country
    people who learned
    to be still and silent
    freedom
    would have been
    so much sweeter

    I was born on this day
    to slavery
    but regained my own freedom

    why not claim yours
    why not claim ours?

    first of all be free
    of your own negative emotions
    know what you stand for
    not what you are against

    because if you REALLY stand
    for something
    nothing will oppose you

    As St Francis said
    seek more
    to understand
    than to be understood

  • Heshan

    Everything you’ve referred to in fact describe him more or less exactly as a secular Christian of the ’30s.

    Seems like you have difficulty reading, which is why I generally ignore most of your posts. I doubt you’ve gone through what I referred to, or you would not have made the above absurd claim. Anyway, I have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the man was anti-Christian – a point which is backed up by historians . That is all that matters. But thank you for displaying your Heenayana complex , which only selectively processes and then dilutes information, yet again.

    • So you’re unable to find even a single text that shows Hitler’s anti-Christian bent? 😀

  • yapa

    Some Tamils their ancestor was Ravana. They claim the inhabitant of this country when Vijaya came here were of their clan. They say present day Tamils are the decedents of them.Therefore they say they are the original owners of this land. Then please tell us,

    1. What facts do you have to say Ravana is an ancestor of Tamils?

    2. What facts do you have to say that the inhabitants of the country were Tamils when Vijaya came.

    3. If the Tamils were decedents of the inhabitants when Vijaya came here in 600 BC, why there was no Tamil dynasty from 600 BC to 1200’s until the Aryachakravarthi? Doesn’t “No Tamil kings” during that period mean there was no Tamil community during that period over 1800 years after Vijaya came here? Doesn’t it indicate present Tamil population started after the Aryachakravarthi invaded Sri Lanka? Can a community contunue without without a ruler? How do you fill that gap? Please not that Sihalese had unbroken rule of kings from 600BC until the Britishes captured our last king, for an unbroken period of over 2300 years. You can claim a separate king only for the period of 1215-1624 CE and that is only for the Jaffna peninsula. Further,those kings too are not of Sri Lankan origin, but came from India as invaders. All in all none can claim that Sri Lankan Tamil king had ruled even an inch of this country even for a single day.

    3. Some Tamils try to say there were parallel Sinhala and Tamil cultures growing from the early inhabitants. Then how come Tamils had no rulers until 13th century while Sinhalese had an uninterrupted rulers? Si Lanka had no single Tamil king arise from the ancient inhabitants. Why is that?

    4. Some try to say Sinhalese were outsiders and they took the country by force from “ancient Tamils”. Then from where Sinhalese came here, and what happened to the original inhabitant(they say Tamils),until the
    Sinhalese spread through out the country? How come a totally different language called Sinhala developed in the country? How come historical monuments of Sinhalese are present all over the country, including Jaffna peninsula, while there are no ancient Tamil monuments in the country? Why there are no signs of your civilisation, as of Sinhalese? Sinhalese have built over 2500 Wevas (Irrigation tanks) in the country and many thousands of shrines (Dagabas). Why Tamils don’t have the signs of their so called ancient civilisation?

    Can anybody answer these questions? I have many more. Do you still want to take my questions as a joke? Don’t give false excuses. Please answer the problems/contradictions arising from your false theories.

    Thanks!

    Thanks!

  • wijayapala

    Dear yapa

    I think you have fallen prey into Tamil propaganda against Sinhalese.

    You are wrong. I am saying that the Jaffna kingdom in medieval times was not a “Tamil nation.” You do not understand my argument at all, perhaps because you may not have studied Sri Lankan history, which may explain why you have not provided evidence to back your claims when I asked for it.

    Thank you for the link, but I already saw the article and comments and responded to the Eelamists. Clearly you have missed my comments there.

    Some Tamils their ancestor was Ravana.

    I have not seen anyone in Groundviews make this claim, and I do not think anyone in dbsjeyaraj.com made that claim either. However, when I say that the Jaffna kingdom was not “illegitimate,” you have no responses.

    On the other hand there are Sinhalese like Douglas Wickramaratne who claim that Sinhalese were descended from Ravana.

  • Heshan

    So you’re unable to find even a single text that shows Hitler’s anti-Christian bent?


    One detailed publication that describes how Hitler was anti-Christian was written by Jewish writer Julie Seltzer Mandel…”

    A “publication” is a text. I guess they didn’t teach you that in government school. In fact, I quoted directly from yet another text, called “Hitler’s table-talk”, that shows his anti-semitism.

    • So come on, Heshan, quote us a portion of Mandel’s text that proves Hitler’s anti-Christianity. You spend a lot of time stamping your foot and insisting, but cannot actually show us the proof 😀

      “In fact, I quoted directly from yet another text, called “Hitler’s table-talk”, that shows his anti-semitism”

      Er… yes, the Holocaust kinda tipped us off that he was anti-Semitic, but the question is whether he was anti-Chistian 😀 Got any proof of that [Edited out]?

  • hansini

    I think Kusal Perera is undergoing a bad experience in his homefront.That may be why he is regretting for being born a Sinhala Buddhist. But, Kusal, every Buddhist household is not like yours. There are plenty of households that are filled with laughter, fun and happiness. It is the understanding that though worldly pleasures are not permanent, you can enjoy them within limits that brings happiness and fun to the Buddhists. My sympathies go to you for the grumpy atmosphere at your home, but don’t think all Sinhalese-Buddhist houses are gloomy like yours!

  • ordinary lankan

    Having engaged with this thread I was encouraged to write some suggestions for those who may want to criticize buddhists where such criticism is needed. This is a bit long but i think devoid of unnecessary fat.

    APPROACHES TO EFFECTIVE CRITICISM OF BUDDHIST DOGMA AND PRACTICE

    In the journey of a Buddhist born as a Buddhist in this country nominal creed comes first and this may in time ripen into a dominant conviction. The nominal creed includes many beliefs and many practices that are not strictly Buddhist but they are part of the natural adulteration that takes place through the inter-mingling of the faith with popular practice and sometimes with political religion. In criticizing these false beliefs and practices there are certain approaches that seem ill-advised. When we look at the whole survival mentality of Buddhists that began during the British occupation and continued thereafter with the struggles against the English speaking elites and finally with Tamils it is very clear that the Buddhist leadership has now mastered the art of confrontation and disputation – in short politics has become second nature to them.

    As such all challenges that emanate from various quarters are pre-identified and disposed of in a very professional and political way. Some of the strongest responses are given to arguments based on western norms. These norms, according to popular thinking are only an institutional lie to cover up the desires of the westernised elite to continue their domination of the masses. This is especially so when those western concepts are presented as ‘universal norms’ that shut out criticism and discussion instead of opening the doors to a dialogue.

    In fact even some of the new engaged Buddhist approaches that come closest to the spirit of Buddhism can be attacked as new fangled machinations of the Dalai Lama and other westerners who have arrogated the dhamma that priceless gem of which the highest guardian is the Sinhala Buddhist – to themselves. When the texts are the ultimate touch stone of spiritual authenticity any attempt to set up other sources attract immediate suspicion, if not resentment.

    All these aspects leave a number of approaches intact for the effective criticism of Buddhist dogma. First and foremost is our personal example. A life that is lived with wisdom and compassion cannot be rivalled by any verbal approach. It also gives credibility to the voice which is then used for the purpose of advocacy.

    Another approach is to avoid direct confrontation and seek a closer level of interaction with the offending Buddhists. This gives a better insight into their behaviour and places you in a stronger position by removing the whole confrontational environment. Another idea is to emphasize the positives rather than the negatives. Silence is of course another time honoured practice as by giving attention to something bad you may serve to keep it alive.

    Finally one of the most effective ways of challenging Buddhist dogma is to set up the dominant conviction of Buddhists as a clear alternative. For example:

    It is the nominal creed here that Buddhists are the majority (being 70%) of the population. Now the Buddha said very clearly that one is not born a Brahmin but can only become one through right action. Here we use the substance of Buddhism to expose the fallacy of form.
    This approach is well taken by Ven Walpola Rahula in his Sinhala book satyodaya – the dawn of truth. Many false beliefs are well criticized and exposed using the powerful logic of the Buddha’s own teachings.

    More recently Manuka Wijesinghe has taken the same approach in Theravada Man

    There is no doubt that the Kalama Sutta must be revived and be fully utilized in reviving our critical tradition. On of the key aspects of this sutta is the need for a benevolent state of mind when deciding philosophical issues.

    Strong value systems or their derivative practices can be attacked from outside but they almost always fail to make an impression because arguments proceed on the basis of two value systems at a superficial level without ever realizing the common core of universality that lies beneath both. On the other hand where the participants have depth a rich dialogue can take place between different value systems and cultures without the risk of offending and misunderstanding.

  • ordinary lankan

    FORTUNATE BEINGS

    Fortunate we are
    To live in these times
    When all belief
    Is open to question
    And nothing indeed
    Is sacrosanct

    Fortunate we are
    To live in these times
    When all security
    Is stripped away
    To reveal
    An anxious human being

    So don’t climb up
    Another tree
    To look down
    On your fellow beings

    Welcome back
    To share with us
    This hard and awkward
    Earth

  • ordinary lankan

    for the record

    Churchill on Islam – not too different from Kusal on Theravada Buddhism ….. read on – and when Tunisia and the rest wake up ask yourselves where the embers were, and who and what nurtured and cherished the inner strength of these people …. human rights??? yea
    in their broadest sense – not in this narrow slavish sense that the pseudo cosmopolitans of colombo imitate – get real!

    CHURCHILL ON ISLAM

    Unbelievable, but the speech below was written in 1899! (check Wikipedia – The River War)

    I am sending the attached short speech from Winston Churchill, delivered by him in 1899 when he was a young soldier and journalist. It probably sets out the current views of many but expressed in the wonderful Churchillian turn of phrase and use of the English language, of which he was a past master.

    He was a brave young soldier, a brilliant journalist, an extraordinary politician and statesman, a great war leader and Prime Minister, to whom the Western world must be forever in his debt. He was a prophet in his own time; He died on 24 January 1965, at the grand old age of 90 and, after a lifetime of service to his country, was accorded a State funeral.

    HERE IS THE SPEECH:

    “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

    A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

    Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.

    No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”

    Sir Winston Churchill; (Source: The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248-50 London